Fake News Education: Fact Versus Fake

Fake News flyer

Fact Verses Fake: How to Navigate the World Around Us

by Travis Sherrill, Library Staff, Mooresville Public Library

Have you heard the term fake news? Do you know what fake news is? The better question might be can you go a day without hearing the term fake news? Many people believe that fake news has been around since the current POTUS. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fake news has been around for decades, since the invention of the Internet, and you could even say centuries- although back then, it was not called fake news, it was either called libel or slander. Over the next several months, we are going to look at different aspects of fake news, including some definitions, how to determine whether something you are watching or reading is fake news, and some tips that could help you potentially avoid reading or listening to fake news.

So, what exactly is fake news? Fake news itself comes in a variety of flavors. Pure fake news sites use fabricated stories to lure traffic, encourage clicks, and influence or profit using intentionally deceptive, but highly intriguing, often sensational information. Hoax sites also share false information with the intention of tricking readers/viewers. Satirical sites present news with a comical, often exaggerated spin. Born digital images and edited images alter and often misrepresent visual reality. In addition, sometimes journalists just get things wrong. The sources they choose to interview may not offer the truth or a full picture. Stories reported in process lack the wisdom and hindsight, and may be missing full context.

Be sure to join us next month as we discuss determining the validity of a source.

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