What is Fake News?
The New York Times defined “fake news” on the Internet as false articles deliberately fabricated to deceive readers, generally with the goal of profiting through click bait. Click-bait is content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.
Fake News and Social Media
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter enable information sharing among their users, and many of these platforms present ‘news’ items, ads or ‘sponsored content’ in a manner that makes it difficult to distinguish real news sources from spoofed sites, or hoax sites. Most social media platform ad space is sold through brokers, meaning the platform often has no idea what is being advertised on their site. These characteristics make social media platforms an ideal place for fake news to flourish.
A good example of this can be seen in this article, where Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s post about fake news is lined up beside two fake news items.
Still not sure? Too good to be true? Browse these websites and check for yourself or speak with a teacher-librarian.
- Media Bias/Fact Check
- Includes a searchable database of media sources and articles that are categorized according to bias, from extreme left to extreme right. Note that “bias” is subjective, and not the same thing as “fact.”
An independent website that covers urban legends, modern folklore, internet rumours, and other stories of questionable origin.
Another independent myth-busting website, this one focuses on dubious stories that resurface year after year, instead of “breaking” news and current events.