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Fake News, Misinformation and Finding the Truth: Home

This research guide is designed to help students, faculty, and staff navigate an information ecosystem that includes misinformation, fake news, and lies.


"Fake news and the proliferation of raw opinion that passes for news, is creating confusion, punching holes in what is true, causing a kind of fun-house effect that leaves the reader doubting everything, including real news."  --Sabrina Tavernise in As Fake News Spreads Lies, More Readers Shrug at the Truth 

Types 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 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 description.

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.

Fact: A thing that has really occurred or is actually the case; a thing certainly known to be a real occurrence or to represent the truth. Hence: a particular truth known by actual observation or authentic testimony, as opposed to an inference, a conjecture, or a fiction; a datum of experience, as distinguished from the conclusions that may be based on it.

True: Of a statement, idea, belief, etc.: in accordance with fact; agreeing with reality; correct

Reality: Actually existing or present as a state or quality of things; having a foundation in fact; actually occurring or happening.

Fake: An act of ‘faking’; a contrivance, ‘dodge’, trick, invention; a ‘faked’ or ‘cooked’ report. Passing from slang to colloq. in the sense of ‘a counterfeit person or thing’.

News: As predicate: a person, thing, or place regarded as worthy of discussion or of reporting by the media.

All definitions taken from the OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2016. Web. 13 February 2017.

Fake News is Real

Infographic: Fake News Is A Real Problem | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista