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Fake News: What is Fake News?

Defining Fake News

Fake news is a popular topic, but what does it mean? According to Tandoc et al. (2018), fake news "appropriates the look and feel of real news; from how websites look; to how articles are written; to how photos include attributions. Fake news hides under a veneer of legitimacy as it takes on some form of credibility by trying to appear like real news."

Tandoc, E. C., Lim, Z. W., & Ling, R. (2018). Defining “Fake News”: A typology of scholarly definitions. Digital Journalism, 6(2), 137–153. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2017.1360143

Disinformation and Misinformation

Disinformation and misinformation are often discussed in conjunction with fake news. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, disinformation is the "dissemination of deliberately false information, especially when supplied by a government or its agent to a foreign power or to the media, with the intention of influencing the policies or opinions of those who receive it." Misinformation is wrong or incomplete information that may or may not have been spread with the intention to deceive. 

Claire Wardle of FirstDraftNews.org created a helpful graphic that explains the seven types of dis- and misinformation.

 

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