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Fake News Vs. Real News: Fake News Vs Real News

Decription, links, and resources for distinguishing real from fake news and avoiding alternative facts

Types of Fake News

There are four broad categories of fake news, according to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College.


CATEGORY 1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

CATEGORY 2: Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information.

CATEGORY 3: Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions.

CATEGORY 4: Satire/comedy sites, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news.


No single topic falls under a single category - for example, false or misleading medical news may be entirely fabricated (Category 1), may intentionally misinterpret facts or misrepresent data (Category 2), may be accurate or partially accurate but use an alarmist title to get your attention (Category 3) or may be a critique on modern medical practice (Category 4.)  Some articles fall under more than one category.  Assessing the quality of the content is crucial to understanding whether what you are viewing is true or not.   It is up to you to do the legwork to make sure your information is good.


From Indiana University East’s Fake News LibGuide



Fight Fake News. Know Who is Reputable.

The Media Bias Chart (created by Jessica Otero, J.D.) is interactive and constantly updated (Image from 2023 - Application Version: 2.7.2).

This link will take you to the home page of the Medias Bias Chart, which explains updates and shows some of their methodology.

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