"Fake" news has been described as "Sources that entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports" (opensources.co)
Fake news is created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers. These stories are created to either influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion. Fake news stories can deceive people by appearing as trusted websites or using similar names and web addresses to reputable news organizations (webwise.ie).
Other definitions (from Oxford English Dictionary) include Misinformation and Disinformation:
"Yellow Journalism" is an early example of fake news. The term comes from the 1890's when rival newspaper publishers Joseph Pulitzer (New York World) and William Randolph Hearst (New York Journal) manipulated facts and sensationalized articles to attract more readers. The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) can tell you more about this early example.
Also: "Yellow Journalism: The “Fake News” of the 19th Century" from The Public Domain Review (website).
The Lucrezia Borgia of journalism. N.Y. Published by Keppler & Schwarzmann. Puck Building. September 7. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress <www.loc.gov/item/2011647619/>.
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"Associate Professor Hafiz Malik is battling the future of fake news." UM-Dearborn Reporter. April 22, 2019
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Read, Max. "How Much of the Internet if Fake? Turns out, a lot of it, actually." Intelligencer, New York. Dec 24 2018
Rochlin, Nick. "Fake news: belief in post-truth." Library Hi Tech, Vol. 35, no.3, 2017 pp.386-392.
Spinney, Laura. "How Facebook, Fake News and Friends are Warping Your Memory." Nature, vol. 543, no. 7644, 2017, pp. 168-170.