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Fake News

Fake news is not new, but it's never been so pervasive or harder to spot. Find out how to spot fake news.

What is Fake News?

Fake news is what it sounds like, stories that are published that are not based on facts. The aim of most fake news stories is to make money. Fake news stories have exciting titles that lure people to click on a link--which makes money. In print, sensational headlines sell tabloids. 

Do You Know Fake News When You See it?

Fake news would not be a problem if people knew it when they saw it. It matters because most people have trouble identifying fake news.

A Pew Research study (link below) showed that 64% of Americans had a great deal of confusion with an additional 24% having some confusion. That's a lot!

Key Source: Alternative Facts, Post-Truth and the Information War

  • A Historical Perspective
    • Truth Is What You Fake of It
    • The Fake-News Fallacy
    • The Evangelical Roots of Our Post-Truth Society
    • Do Social Media Threaten Democracy?
    • Language: The Most Disruptive Technology
  • Bad Actors in the Information War
    • Offenders in the Information War
    • The New Information Warfare
    • Why Is Finland Able to Fend Off Putin’s Information War?
    • We Tracked Down a Fake-News Creator in the Suburbs: Here’s What We Learned
    • Tone-Deaf: How Facebook Misread America’s Mood on Russia
  • Media vs. The Algorithm
    • The Interest Equation
    • Facebook and Twitter Are Being Used to Manipulate Public Opinion—Report
    • How Facebook, Google and Twitter “Embeds” Helped Trump in 2016
    • Don’t Blame the Election on Fake News: Blame It on the Media
    • Don’t Let Liberals End Opinion Diversity Under Cover of ‘Fake News’ Campaign
    • News Coverage Says a Study Claimed Fake News on Facebook Didn’t Affect the Election
    • “Post-Truth” Media Really Is Shifting the News Agenda—And More Subtly Than It Seems
    • Trump’s “Fake News Awards”: Fail to Live Up to the Hype—Or the Hysteria
  • Fake News and Your Health
    • Fallacies, Bias, and the Post-Truth Mind
    • Post-Truth: The Dark Side of the Brain
    • The New Psychology of Fake News
    • Yes, I’d Lie to You
  • Next Generation News Consumers
    • Solutions to the Misinformation Age
    • Echo Chambers Are Dangerous—We Must Try to Break Free of Our Online Bubbles
    • Making Media Literacy Great Again
    • The Remedy for the Spread of Fake News? History Teachers
    • Can AI Win the War Against Fake News?

Fake News More Engaging than Real News

In fact, the chart below demonstrates that fake news can get more traction than real news. During the 2016 Presidential election, fake news stories on Facebook were viewed 1.4 million times more than real news stories.

(click the chart to see it full size)

Infographic: Fake News Is A Real Problem | Statista

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