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Finding Reliable Sources

Fake or Fact?

Fake News header

The ongoing quest for truth has been around for centuries and concepts such as information as propaganda crop up cyclically, but something a little different and interesting is happening right now. Recently, the concept of fake news started making the rounds. But, what exactly is considered fake news? The definition is morphing regularly but according to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College there are four broad categories in which fake news can fall:

CATEGORY 1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

CATEGORY 2: Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information

CATEGORY 3: Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions

CATEGORY 4: Satire/comedy sites, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news

Fake news is a buzz phrase but it also opens discussions to greater issues within research and information discovery including trustworthiness and reliability of sources. Use this guide to further discussions past the realm of fake news and remember to question your own biases! 

How to Choose Your News

View this TED-Ed video created by Damon Brown