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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.

Introduction

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge -- quote from Daniel J. Boorstin (12th Librarian of Congress)

Types of Fake News

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

Level of Confidence in Distinguishing Between Real News and Fake News Among Adults in the U.S. in 2016 and 2019

 According to two surveys, one of which was held in December 2016 and the other in November 2019, the share of adults in the United States who were very confident in their ability to distinguish real news from false information dropped from 39 to 26 percent in three years. Whilst most consumers said that they felt confident fact-checking news, it is clear that the spread of false information has affected U.S. news audiences' faith in themselves to be able to discern fact from fiction. Published by Amy Watson, Jun 29, 2020