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Fake News: Fake News 101

A library guide about news hoaxes, misinformation, and propaganda

Fake News 101: Don't be Fooled by Fake News!

Fake news websites intentionally publish hoaxes

Fake news stories may include the following
  • Fake quotes by celebrities or political figures
  • URLs that imitate well know news websites
  • References to sources that do not exist
    • no sources
    • missing sources
    • fake sources with broken links
  • Fictional headlines
Not Fake News
  • Media biasies and the bias of journalists, while problematic, is not considered fake news

Selected Articles

Glossary of Terms Related to Fake News


A set of steps a computer follows


Content that encourages a user to click on a link. Outrageous headlines are a common strategy to get clicks

Confirmation Bias

Interpreting news to confirm existing beliefs


The situation surrounding an event

Custom Newsfeed

Algorithms generate content, like news stories, that the computer believes the user wants to see based on a number of factors

Filter Bubble

The result of personalization from website algorithms, usually on custom searches and social media platforms with news-streams. Critics argue this isolates users in ideological "bubbles" seeing content (like news) that simply reinforces their beliefs.


Digital or print, it's the attention-grabbing header text at the top of an article in a newspaper, magazine, or blog.

Native Ad / Sponsored Content

An advertisement for a product that resembles the other content in the publication (i.e. looks like a newspaper article but markets a product)

Viral Content

Media that spreads rapidly across the internet

What is fake news?

Fake news is deceptive misinformation appearing as news (such as an article or blog) but was created for financial and/or political gain. Today, fake news is spread mostly online, particularly through social media and other internet platforms with customized newsfeeds.

The 2016 U.S. election has made fake news a buzzword and a political weapon.

RSS Feed: Fake News in the News

fake news rss feed icon

Recent stories that mention fake news

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Attribution: Google News RSS feed created using search terms "fake news"