A fake news article may or may not have links in it tracing its sources. If it does, these links may not lead to
articles outside of the site's domain or may not contain information pertinent to the article topic.
2. Fake news appeals to emotion.
Fake news plays on your feelings - it makes you angry or happy or scared. This is to ensure you won't do anything
as pesky as fact-checking.
Most authors aren't even journalists, but paid trolls.
If you look up the main idea of a fake news article, you might not find any other news outlet (real or not) reporting
on the issue.
5. Fake news comes from fake sites.
Did your article come from abcnews.com.co? Or mercola.com? Realnewsrightnow.com? These and a host of
other URLs are fake news sites.
Adapted from Indiana University East LibGuide
Three characteristics of social media’s presentation of news make people more likely to fall for fake news.
1. First, social media act as news aggregators that are "source-agnostic." That is, they collect and present news stories from a wide variety of outlets, regardless of the quality, reliability, or political leanings of the original source. Without a sense of the reputation of the original publisher being clear, it’s easy for fly-by-night provocateurs and manipulators to get their fake stories to approach the prominence of the traditional media outlets. If readers can’t readily identify who wrote or provided information for a story, it’s hard to judge its honesty without elaborate fact-checking, which most people don’t do.
2. Second, many news stories get conveyed to people on social media via their friends or people they follow, along with their implicit or explicit endorsement of the story such as a share, like, or retweet. These tacit recommendations make people more accepting of the messages they get. On social media apps, “Many messages are shared in groups, and when they are forwarded, there is no indication of their origin. (False stories) have often appeared to come from family and friends.”
3. Third, relatedly, social media platforms automatically tag articles with indications of their popularity (the number of views or likes they’ve gotten, which is further complicated by online robots that can systematically inflate popularity indicators), which also makes people more likely to tune in to a story when those counts are high.
So, while history offers some important lessons, this isn’t your grandparents’ fake news any more.
Fake news destroys your credibility. If your arguments are built on bad information, it will be much more difficult for people to believe you in the future.
Fake news can hurt you and a lot of other people. Purveyors of fake and misleading medical advice like Mercola.com and NaturalNews.com help perpetuate myths like HIV and AIDS aren't related, or that vaccines cause autism. These sites are heavily visited and their lies are dangerous.
Real news can benefit you. If you want to buy stock in a company, you want to read accurate articles about that company so you can invest wisely. If you are planning on voting in an election, you want to read valid and factual information on a candidate so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs. Fake news will not help you make money or make the world a better place, but real news can.
Adapted from Goucher College Library Guide