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Fake News: Introduction

Tips and resources to sharpen your critical thinking skills when it comes to facts and false information.

Getting Started

How can I tell if the article I'm reading is true and unbiased?

Click on the tab Fact Checking to learn how to review an article for signs of fakery and bias.

How can I tell if the news story I saw on Facebook is accurate?

Click on the tab Fake News Resources for information about fake news sites.

What logical fallacies do fake news articles employ?

Click on the tab Common Logical Fallacies for examples of fallacies used in fake news.

Categories of Fake News

There are four broad categories of fake news.

This information is 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 circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information.

CATEGORY 3: Websites that use clickbait headlines and social media descriptions - enticing users to link on a link.

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.  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.

Fake News in the News

When fake news becomes the real news!

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