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Fake News & Fake Facts: Media Literacy Awareness

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 disinformation is to confuse and manipulate people.

Spreading Misinformation


Definitions -

Misinformation Dissemination Techniques to Watch For - Chart



  • 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

Mis/Disinformation 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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