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Fake News and Information Literacy

A guide to help you be a better consumer of news.

Defining Fake News

It turns out there is no generally agreed upon definition of fake news. Some define it very narrowly:

 “Newspaper articles, television news shows, or other information disseminated through broadcast or social media that are intentionally based on falsehoods or that intentionally use misleading framing to offer a distorted narrative”.  Kavanagh, Jennifer, and Rich, Michael D. Truth Decay : An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life. Santa Monica, California: RAND, 2018. 

 Others include various types of mis- and disinformation under the umbrella of fake news. Clare Wardle in "Fake news. It's complicated." provides a helpful typology of 7 different types of misinformation, along with a graphic of the motivations behind each type.

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