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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.