Research: Fake News

How Fake News Spreads

In previous decades, most news with global reach came from several major newspapers and networks with the resources to gather information directly. The speed with which information spreads now, however, has created the ideal conditions for something called circular reporting. Noah Tavlin sheds light on this phenomenon.

How to spot fake news

Library Girl spots fake news!

Mis- and Disinformation types

Satire or Parody - Content has no intention to cause harm but has potential to fool.

False Connection - Headlines or visuals don't support assertions of content.

Misleading Content - Misleading use of information to frame an issue or individual.

False Context - Genuine content is shared with false contextual information.

Imposter Content - Genuine sources are impersonated.

Manipulated Content - Genuine information is manipulated in order to deceive.

Fabricated Content - New content is false, and is designed to deceive and do harm.


This list compiled by the Massachusetts Library Association 

Fake News Research Guide Harvard University

Media Literacy

Media literacy is the ability to accessanalyzeevaluatecreate and act using all forms of communication. It's an essential life skill that empowers you to be both a critical thinker and an effective communicator.

Fake News Concern

In their article "Social media and fake news in the 2016 election", the authors isolate potential social costs to the production and dissemination of "fake news":

  • Decline of “trust and confidence” in the mass media
  • Less accurate beliefs about current events
  • Difficulty in distinguishing between legitimate news and “fake news”
  • Increased skepticism of legitimate news sources
  • Reduced demand for accurate, low-bias reporting
  • Fewer incentives for news outlets to invest in accurate reporting
  • Undermining of the democratic process