Media Professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College has defined four broad categories of fake news:
1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some rely on "outrage" by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information to generate likes, shares, and profits.
2: Website that circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information, or present opinion pieces as news
3: Websites that use hyperbolic or clickbait-y headlines and/or social media descriptions, but may otherwise circulate reliable and/or verifiable information.
4: Sources that are purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news
No single topic falls under a single category. Some articles may fall under more than one category. Use the tips on this guide to determine if the information you see is reliable.
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