Fake news is an inaccurate, sometimes sensationalistic report created to gain attention, deceive or damage a reputation. It is published to look like authentic news and spread via traditional print and news media or social media.
Unlike misinformation, which is inaccurate because a reporter has confused facts, fake news, which has no basis in fact, is presented as being factually accurate
Claire Wardle of “First Draft News” identifies seven types of fake news:
- satire or parody – no intention to cause harm but has the potential to fool when shared out of context.
- false connection – when headlines, visuals or captions don’t support the content
- misleading content – misleading use of information to frame an issue or an individual
- false context – when genuine content is used in the wrong context
- impostor content – when genuine sources are mixed with false, made-up sources
- manipulated content – when genuine information or imagery is manipulated to deceive
- fabricated content – news that has been fabricated deliberately to either make money through number of clicks, to deceive and do harm. to cause confusion or discontent or as sensationalist propagand
“The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions” suggested seven ways to recognize fake news. Its main points are:
- Consider the source (to understand its mission and purpose)
- Read beyond the headline (to understand the whole story)
- Check the authors (to see if they are real and credible)
- Assess the supporting sources (to ensure they support the claims)
- Check the date of publication (to see if the story is relevant and up to date)
- Ask if it is a joke (to determine if it is meant to be satire)
- Check your own biases (to see if they are affecting your judgement)
- Ask experts (to get confirmation from independent people with knowledge).