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News to Me: Fake News

WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO TOTRUST? How do you evaluate information?

Excerpt:   "The difficulty of unmasking and eliminating fake news is due also to the fact that many people interact in homogeneous digital environments impervious to differing perspectives and opinions. Disinformation thus thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information that could effectively challenge prejudices and generate constructive dialogue; instead, it risks turning people into unwilling accomplices in spreading biased and baseless ideas. The tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth”  

Full text from Libreria Editrice Vaticana 

Fake News Studies & Initiatives

A project of the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center.  
Fights mis- and disinformation through field work, research and education.  Began in 2015 to "raise awareness, perform research and address changes relating to trust and truth in media in the digital age." 


Public Data Lab and First Draft collaborated last year to develop a free, open-access guide to help students, journalists and researchers investigate misleading and viral content, memes and trolling practices online. Freely available for download under Commercial Commons license - click book cover.


"research institute focusing on the social & cultural issues arising from data-centric and automated technologies"
Research Study Publications - available to download - example:  "Media Manipulation & Disinformation OnlineWise Ed.Review, March 2018


"The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News"
The Atlantic, March 2018
Discussion of MIT study below

"The Spread of True and False News Online"
MIT study published in Science, March 2018  (see Mrs. Owens for full text)

"Americans Believe They Can Detect Fake News, Studies Show They Can't"
Forbes, December 2016


Why Do People Share Fake News?

Confirmation  Bias
Content Overload
Cognitive Overload

Recent studies:
"Everyone Is Too DIstracted to Stop Sharing Fake News", Study Shows" PBS News Hour summary of 2017 research study released by Nature Human Behavior:  "Limited Individual Attention and Online Virality of Low-Quality Information"

"Misinformation Overload"

Articles of Interest

What Is Fake News?

defines it really well: 
"Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers."

3 principle methods are "mistrust, misinformation,  manipulation."   Source

Why the rise of fake news?
Social media thrives on novelty, speed, shareability.

Primary Motivations?
Profit (advertising revenue, paid provocateurs, data mining)
Ideology (belief systems, political views)
Chaos (bringing down systems & power structures)

Fake news takes many forms: Common techniques

Parody /satire sites
News imposter sites
Misleading Headlines
Sloppy journalism
Malicious pranks

Instill fear to generate clicks, spread conspiracy theories
Deliberately mislead, promote biased viewpoint
Distorted, sensationalist. attention-grabbing headlin


Where Does Fake News Come From?

"We Tracked Down a Fake-News Creator in the Suburbs.  Here's What We Learned"
The transcript of a November 2016 story on NPR's  All Tech Considered, first broadcast on All Things Considered.

:"PolitiFact's Guide to Fake News Websites and What They Peddle"  March 2017
PolitFact deconstructs bogus websites that peddle fake news.  Working with Facebook, they debunked websites that deliberately loaded false stories into people's newsfeeds.

Why Do Our Brains Love Fake News? - PBS Video

How Does Fake News Become News? (produced by Teaching Tolerance)

Field Guide to Fake News

How to Identify Fake News in 10 Steps

Escape Junk News

Developed by Newseum ED
Sign up for free account to see  full sized copy
Lesson plan

Additional resources from NewsMuseum
(sign up for free account)

Build Thinking Skills

Patterns of Deception
How to "spot and debunk slippery moves in politics"
See a detailed breakdown

must register for free account to access
Civic Online Reasoning
Media assessment 2017 Fake News Round-up

2017: The Year in Fauxtography

Infographic:  Fake News 2017
"circulated online, all false - source:"
posted on
data source - fakest news 2017


Developed by Andrea Owens (Media Services)  and Nathan Gabriel (Fine Arts).