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Fake News, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Learning to Critically Evaluate Media Sources

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Newsweek, 25 August 1986, p. 27.

What is Fake News?

Fake news is not news you disagree with.

"Fake news" is "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)." [David M. J. Lazer, et al., "The Science of Fake News," Science 09 Mar 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1094-1096.].

What You Can Do about Fake News and Disinformation

  • Learn to recognize fake news disinformation. Be curious and actively investigate what you read and hear.
  • Use news sources that are accountable for their content and that follow journalistic ethics and standards.
  • Use care before sharing news content with others on social media. Pause and reflect on news and information that arouses strong emotions, positive or negative.
  • Learn to recognize your own biases and compensate for them.

Terms of Use: The work in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Commons Deed, version 4.0. It is attributed to Research & Learning Services, Olin Library. Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA. The original version can be found here