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What is Fake News?

We here the term "Fake News" a lot, these days. But what does it mean? defines "Fake News" as "false news stories, often of a sensational nature, created to be widely shared or distributed for the purpose of generating revenue, or promoting or discrediting a public figure, political movement, company, etc." (

Fake News Examples


Types of Fake News

The broad term of "Fake News" includes different types of sources.

  • Misleading or factually incorrect news- These sources will use made up stories, or change facts of true news stories to fit their own narrative.
  • Clickbait- These sources derive their income from internet traffic, and craft their stories and headlines to encourage people to click on the links to their stories. They may or may not be true stories.
  • Biased news sources- These sources may also not be factually inaccurate, but present the information in a biased manner. They may also ignore information that disagrees with their beliefs.
  • Satire- These sources do not claim to be factually accurate (although many people will still share them believing them to be accurate). They are meant for amusement.


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Rebecca Johnston
Louis Jefferson Long Library, Room 200A
Wells College
Aurora, NY