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Fight Fake News: Tools & Skills for Media Literacy in a Post-Truth World

This guide will prepare you with the knowledge and tools that you need to evaluate information effectively so that you can identify and combat fake news.

What is fake news?

There are different ways that news can be intentionally or unintentionally false or misleading. Here are some common types:

Propaganda - often written for financial or political gain, with clear bias toward a particular view point. Often appeals to strongly held beliefs with the intent to elicit an emotional reaction. Sometimes, fake news websites will mimic the layout of real news websites and even use a similar web address with an added extension (like adding .co). The recent proliferation of fake news has been accelerated by those sharing it via social media. 

Comedy - parody and satire purposefully twist or dramatize the truth for comedic purposes. People can sometimes miss the comedic intent and instead interpret it literally. Examples of satiric or comedic news sources: The Onion, The Beaverton, This Hour has 22 Minutes, This is That.

Clickbait - has a dramatized or misleading headline that might not accurately represent the actual content of the news story.

Recycling news or images - news stories or images can often be reused and/or have their context manipulated to fit with something that is already trending and get clicks (clicks = profits).

How to Spot Fake News

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