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CHS 151: Chicano Studies and Speech

Freshman Speech Communication

What is Fake News?

Fake news is information that is clearly and demonstrably fabricated and that has been packaged and distributed to appear as legitimate news. Fake news refers to a specific piece of information -- it does not refer to any particular type of news outlet or individual.

How other forms of misinformation are weaponized into fake news

Fake News: Satire: when deceptively packaged as a legitimate news story. Propaganda: when containing fabrications and packaged as a legitimate news story. Misleading or out of context information: when also serving as support for fabrications. Conspiracy theory: when packaged as a legitimate news story. Clickbait: when containing fabrications and packaged as a legitimate news story.

Forms of Misinformation

Forms of misinformation that weaponize Fake News: 

  • Propaganda: Misleading or highly biased information that is specifically designed to confirm or promote a particular ideological viewpoint
  • Clickbait: articles that feature headlines designed to get people to click on them, often by presenting a misleading or warped sense of what the post is about. (This does not necessarily constitute that the article is fake, but fake news often uses a clickbait format.)
  • Conspiracy Theory: an explanation or interpretation of events that is based on questionable or nonexistent evidence of a supposed "secret plan" by a group to obscure events.
  • Satire: writing or art designed to make social commentary based on mockery or imitation of real-life events or actors. (Some fake news sites claim to be satirists bu do not advertise themselves as satire.)
  • Misleading or Out-of-Context Information: this kind of information does not on its own constitute fake news as it is not wholly fabricated and it can exist within a news report that is based on actual events that occurred, but widely shared stories that contain misinformation can feed the larger ecosystem by creating a friendly audience for fabrications.


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