Sorting through the vast amount of information created and shared online is challenging even for experts. This guide defines terms including and related to "fake news" while offering resources and information to avoid both reading and sharing it.
These are important information evaluation skills that you'll use for the rest of your life. The more aware you are of what false information is and how it spreads, the better you will be at avoiding it yourself - and helping your friends and family do the same.
|misinformation||“false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead”||Dictionary.com|
|disinformation||"deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda”||Dictionary.com|
|fake news||"purposefully crafted, sensational, emotionally charged, misleading or totally fabricated information that mimics the form of mainstream news"||Fake news: understanding media and misinformation in the digital age (back cover)|
|deepfake||"an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said"||Merriam-Webster.com|
Fake news is effective. Our brains can easily make us believe that fake news is real news through something called "confirmation bias." Watch this video by Above The Noise to learn more.
Fake news can hurt you.
Fake news is a problem. Fake news stories are ubiquitous - everywhere - in the information water we swim in. Current events around COVID-19, social justice, elections, public schooling, healthcare and many more are all impacted by fake news, as are the choices individuals, families, and communities make based on misleading or fabricated information.
Deepfakes are a new and particularly challenging type of audio, video, or image disinformation, generally used in malicious ways. They have the potential to rapidly spread false words and actions to a global audience, and can be extremely difficult to distinguish from real content.
Suggested readings to understand deepfake technology:
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