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Evaluating news: Fake News & Beyond

Fake News

Reporters with various forms of "fake news" from a

Fake news is not a new phenomenon, but the 2016 elections have brought it to the forefront of our attention. The term "fake news," has become a catch-all for all different kinds of news that promote false information, intentionally mislead readers, manipulate our emotions, and provide affirmation to our existing viewpoints and biases.

To complicate things further, it's also becoming more and more common for many people to label news that disagrees with their own viewpoints as fake, without further investigating or verifying the information being presented. So, sometimes you might hear that a news article is fake or that a news source is fake, even when it's pretty reliable. When in doubt, it''s always good to check for yourself.

“Fake news” is not news you disagree with. "Fake news” are news stories that have no factual basis but are presented as facts. The ability to tell accurate news from fake news is an important skill that you'll use your entire life.  This guide will give you valuable insight in telling fact from fiction online, plus a chance to exercise your newfound skills.

 

Real or fake? Why should I care?

You deserve the truth.  You are smart enough to make up your own mind - as long as you have the real facts in front of you.  You have every right to be insulted when you read fake news, because you are in essence being treated like an idiot.

Fake news destroys your credibility.  If your arguments are built on bad information, it will be much more difficult for people to believe you in the future.

Fake news can hurt you, and a lot of other people.  Purveyors of fake and misleading medical advice like Mercola.com and NaturalNews.com help perpetuate myths like HIV and AIDS aren't related, or that vaccines cause autism.  These sites are heavily visited and their lies are dangerous.

Real news can benefit you.  If you want to buy stock in a company, you want to read accurate articles about that company so you can invest wisely.  If you are planning on voting in an election, you want to read as much good information on a candidate so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs.  Fake news will not help you make money or make the world a better place, but real news can.

Portions of this template were built using content from research guides from other libraries including Washington State University Libraries, Benedictine University Library, and Duchess Community College Library.