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Fake News, Misinformation and Propaganda: Fake News

This guide provides quick access to relevant resources on Fake News, Misinformation & Propaganda.

The Importance of Truth

Information has no value if we cannot distinguish between fact and fiction. Fake news destroys credibility if arguments are built on false or inaccurate information. The decisions that you make should be based upon truth.

Examples

  • If investing in the stock market, you need reliable information about a company so you can invest wisely.
  • Prior to an election, it is important to have accurate information about the candidates and their platforms so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs. 
  • In healthcare, fake and misleading medical information can cause harm. During the Covid-19 pandemic, misinformation about using certain medications to cure the virus could have had dire consequences if acted upon.   

How False News Spreads

Tavlin, N. (2015, August 27). How fake news can spread [Video]. https://youtu.be/62-FYcWth80

Four Categories of Fake News

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 or questionable information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

Category 2

Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information.

Category 3

Websites that sometimes use clickbait-y (see definition) 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 news.

Some articles fall under more than one category.  Assessing the quality of the content is crucial to understanding whether what you are viewing is true or not. It is up to you to do the legwork to make sure your information is good.