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Fake News: Introduction

What is Fake News?

The term "fake news" is a problematic term. It can easily be politicized and used as a weapon and to undermine news sources which may not agree with one's beliefs. Instead, the terms misinformation, disinformation, and mal-information may be better used to describe the many facets of "fake news". 

  • Misinformation is information that is false, but the person who is disseminating it believes that it is true.
  • Disinformation is information that is false, and the person who is disseminating it knows it is false. It is a deliberate, intentional lie, and points to people being actively disinformed by malicious actors.
  • Mal-information is information, that is based on reality, but used to inflict harm on a person, organisation or country. An example is a report that reveals a person’s sexual orientation without public interest justification.

In this guide you will learn about the categories of fake news, how to identify it, and resources that will help evaluate news stories and news sources.

Adapted from: "Journalism, ‘Fake News’ & Disinformation: Handbook for Journalism Education and Training" by UNESCO is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO | Icon: Canva

Check out the Fake News Online Tutorial for an overview of misinformation and techniques on verifying news sources.


Fake News Tutorial for Students

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