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Fake News and Fact Checking: Trends and Statistics

A library resource guide on Fake News and Fact Checking

What is Fake News?

Fake news is information posing as news, which has not been fact-checked and is not true. It could be clickbait, rumours, hoaxes, propaganda, or satire. 

Fake news comes from many sources.  The tumultuous political climate of the 2016 Presidential election resulted in more fake news that circulated, especially on social media.   For students, it is even more important to question and know exactly where the information is coming from. They need to understand that news articles should be objective and unbiased.  Therefore,  it's a good idea to ask these questions:

  • Who or what organization wrote the article? 
  • Where is this information coming from?   
  • What is the purpose of this news article?

In addition, look for more articles on the same topic and do a comparative study of all the sources that are found. 

Objectivity and Biases

Trends

More and more people are getting their news from online sites, especially on social media. According to the Pew Research Center, 9 out 10 people know that social media control the news that they see and 6-in-10 see this as a problem. 

In addition, the majority of Americans think that fake news or made-up news is a big problem and needs to be fixed.  U.S. adults blame political leaders and activists for the made-up news that misleads the public but believe that journalists are the ones who need to fix the problem.