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.
covers a wide range of topics that are purposefully distortedfor the purposes of spreading disinformation.
spread in many areas beyond politics (see the list below)
1. Junk News, Hoax News, or Pseudo-News
alternate terms for "fake news"
may seem plausible or legit
created to purposefully and deliberately to spread false information
digital news has dramatically expanded both the spread of and audience for this type of information
The front page of the "Buckeye Reporter," a political mailer that appears to look like a community newspaper.
The Buckeye Reporter is part of a network owned by a company called Metric Media that has caught the interest of disinformation researchers by launching hundreds of local-branded websites across the country that promote Republican candidates and causes during election cycles. - Source: Andrew Tobias, "Wondering why you got a copy of the ‘Buckeye Reporter’ in the mail? Here’s more about the pseudo news network behind it." August 1, 2023,Cleveland.com/News
provide some credible content, but distort it by exaggerating, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images
deliberately created to attract as many website visitors as possible
the more clicks, the more advertising money is made for these websites
3. Yellow Journalism or Tabloid Journalism
these are newspapers that present little or no credible or well-researched news
purpose is to scare people with misleading headlines, altered images, made-up interviews, and fake experts
target a low-information and vulnerable audience who tend not to question what they are reading, or simply may be entertained by it.
exist purely to increase sales and revenue for the publisher.
4. Satire or Parody
use humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule, satire, and false information to comment on current events. They
purposefully fake news sources to entertain, not to inform or educate
5. State-Sponsored News
a form of propaganda that exists under authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, which publishes news under strict control
audience is told what to think about events and ignore what they see or know to be true
examples - Russia, Hungary, Turkey
6. Junk Science
this type of false information promotes ideas that claim to be science-based (psuedo-science), but are not
uses legit sounding "scientific data and facts"
the belief that if something is "natural" it is good (naturalistic fallacy)
purpose is to generate revenue and profit for the creators
a form of visual, voice, or textual deception
created with digital software, machine learning (artificial intelligence),and face swapping technology
may be combined to create new footage that depicts events, statements or action that never actually happened
Image Source: Raphael Satter,‘"Experts: Spy used AI-generated face to connect with targets"’, AP News, 14 June 2019, online.
by Hannah Smith and Kathryn Manstead, Australian Strategic Policy Institute. - A deep fake is a digital forgery created through deep learning (a subset of AI).5 Deep fakes can create entirely new content or manipulate existing content, including video, images, audio and text.
What Can We Do About Disinformation?
How do you know?
What evidence do you have?
Will it hold up to scrutiny?"
How Civil Society Can Combat Disinformation and Hate Speech Without Making it Worse?
The 3Ds of Disinformation -- Detect, Document, and Debunk
Detect: In the detection phase, we investigate suspicious sources to determine if it is legitimate and representing itself accurately.
Document: In this phase we compile the evidence and document the details that verify the sources is not legitimate or accurate.
Debunk: We assess the impact on the misinformation on specific issues, and demonstrate how it causes harm to individuals, communities, population groups, states, and countries.
An in-depth look at this topic is presented in this 11-page eBook (linked below):