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Fake News & Bad Info: Media Literacy Resources

Learn how language can be used to in a way that it affects the way people perceive reality. Unlike real news, whose purpose is to simply inform, the main purpose of fake news is to confuse and manipulate people.

Pre-Bunking and Debunking Strategies

Definitions -Quote : objective truth is less important to people than familiarity.

More on Prebunking Misinformation

Prebunking Strategies

Misinformation Dissemination Techniques to Watch For - Chart

list iconTo recap....


  • Misinformation - false information that is spread regardless of intent to mislead
  • Disinformation - misinformation that is deliberately spread to mislead
  • Fake News - false information made to look like real news content
  • Continued Influence Effect  - continuing to believe false information even after a credible correction has been presented 
  • Illusory Truth Effect - people rely on what's familiar so are likely to judge false information as true simply because it is repeated often

Prebunking Strategies

  • Based on Inoculation Theory: exposing people to a small does of misinformation -- in a classroom or other. learning situation - will help them detect misinformation more easily in real world contexts.
    • issue-based inoculation -- Covid19, climate change, election integrity
    • technique-based inoculation -- focuses on HOW misinformation is disseminated.

Misinformation Dissemination Techniques

  • Impersonation 
    • impersonating a real person or organization, or falsely posing as a real news source or expert
  • Emotion
    • using content that provokes an emotional response such as fear or anger
  • Polarization
    • deliberately diving an audience along lines of ideology (politics, religion, etc)
  • Conspiracy
    • promotes beliefs that some secret group or force is behind specific events
  • Discredit
    • attacks the messenger or the person sharing a claim or argument rather than the message itself
  • Trolling
    • purposefully baiting an audience using emotional triggers 

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