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Fake News Fake Out: ID Fake News

Information on fake news and methods to identify such sources.

Types of Fake News

There are four broad categories of fake news, according to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College.

CATEGORY 1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

CATEGORY 2: Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information

CATEGORY 3: Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions

CATEGORY 4: Satire/comedy sites, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news

No single topic falls under a single category - for example, false or misleading medical news may be entirely fabricated (Category 1), may intentionally misinterpret facts or misrepresent data (Category 2), may be accurate or partially accurate but use an alarmist title to get your attention (Category 3) or may be a critique on modern medical practice (Category 4.)  Some articles fall under more than one category.  It is up to you to do the legwork to make sure your information is good.

Many of these tips were taken from this LibGuide. The tips are used with permission from the creator of the LibGuide.

Introduction to Fake News

“If you have a society where people can’t agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?”

Martin Baron, Washington Post executive editor as quoted in Media's Next Challenge: Overcoming the Threat of Fake News by Jim Rutenberg New York Times Nov. 6, 2016

How to Spot Fake News - FactCheck.org

Quoted from the video: Points to consider when evaluating news sources:

1. Consider the source
2. Read beyond the headline
3. Check the author
4. What's the support?
5. Check the date
6. Is this some kind of a joke?
7. Check your biases
8. Consult the experts

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook

From WNYC's  On the Media. Listen to the entire podcast here.

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