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Fake News: Definitions

A guide that provides definitions and resources related to the the topic of fake news

speech balloons coming from loud speaker saying fake news

Source: Flavijus/Getty Images

 

What Is Fake News?

Center for Information Technology & Society (University of California at Santa Barbara)
Fake news is a multi-step process that involves making or taking content that others have produced, passing it off as real news, and capitalizing on social media to get as much attention as possible.

Science Magazine (American Association for the Advancement of Science‚Äč)

We define “fake news” to be fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent. Fake-news outlets, in turn, lack the news media's editorial norms and processes for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of information. Fake news overlaps with other information disorders, such as misinformation (false or misleading information) and disinformation (false information that is purposely spread to deceive people).

Journalist’s Resource (A project of Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center and the Carnegie-Knight Initiative)
“Fake news” is a term that can mean different things, depending on the context. News satire is often called fake news as are parodies such as the “Saturday Night Live” mock newscast Weekend Update. Much of the fake news that flooded the internet during the 2016 election season consisted of written pieces and recorded segments promoting false information or perpetuating conspiracy theories. Some news organizations published reports spotlighting examples of hoaxes, fake news and misinformation on Election Day 2016.

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