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Mis and Dis and Fake Information

Sources for determining "fake" information

10 Types of Mis and Dis information (InfoGraphic)

NPR Podcast, "On the Media"

This NPR podcasts features journalism, technology and First Amendment issues.  Listen or read the transcript of its Breaking News Consumer's Handbook

Understanding Information Disorder

What is "Fake" News?

"Fake" news has been described as  "Sources that entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports" (

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 (

Other definitions (from Oxford English Dictionary) include Misinformation and Disinformation: 

  • Misinformation - The action of misinforming someone; the condition of being misinformed, or wrong or misleading information.
  • Disinformation - The dissemination of deliberately false information, esp. when supplied by a government or its agent to a foreign power or to the media, with the intention of influencing the policies or opinions of those who receive it; false information so supplied.
  • Malinformation -  Based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate (definition by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency - CISA).

Fake news is not new!

"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, <>.


The Lucrezia Borgia of journalism.  N.Y. Published by Keppler & Schwarzmann. Puck Building. September 7. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress <>.

Articles and books on "Fake" news



McQuade, Barbara. "5 disinformation tactics voters should guard against before Election Day" (opinion) The Detroit Free Press February 20, 2024. Retrieved February 20, 2024

Sanderson, Katharine. "Science’s fake-paper problem: high-profile effort will tackle paper mills." Nature January 19, 2024.  Retrieved January 23, 2024.

Affelt, Amy. "A Kernal of Truth in it: Malinformation Moves to the Forefront of Fake News." Information Today 09 2022: 29-31. ProQuest. Web. 19 Jan. 2023.

Gonzalez, Oscar. "The misinformation pandemic is out of control, but there's a fix." c|net (website). January 3, 2022


Bastic, Zack. "Would you notice if fake news changed your behavior? An experiment on the unconscious effects of disinformation."  Computers in Human Behavior 116,  March 2021 106633.

Goldstein, Josh A. and Grossman, Shelby. "How disinformation evolved in 2020."  January 04, 2021 Brookings Institute. Retrieved April 8, 2021

Wagner, Maria Celeste , Boczkowksi, Pablo J.  "The Reception of Fake News: The Interpretations and Practices That Shape the Consumption of Perceived Misinformation.", Digital Journalism, 7:7,pp.  870-885 2019

Swayne, Matt.  "Researchers identify seven types of fake news, aiding better detection."   November 15, 2019. Retrieved December 9, 2019. 

Molina, D. Maria, Shyam Sundar, Thai Let, et. al  “Fake News” Is Not Simply False Information: A Concept Explication and Taxonomy of Online Content."  American Behavioral Scientist  pp. 1-33  October 14, 2019.

Eberhart, George M.  "Media Literacy in an Age of Fake News: Prepare your users for the pitfalls of misinformation." American Libraries. Nov. 1 2019.   Retrieved November 8, 2019.

"Associate Professor Hafiz Malik is battling the future of fake news."  UM-Dearborn Reporter.  April 22, 2019


Allcott, Hunt and Matthew Gentzkow. "Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election." The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 31, no. 2,  Spring 2017, pp.211-35.

Batchelor, Oliver. "Getting Out the Truth: The Role of Libraries in the Fight Against Fake News." Reference Services Review, vol. 45, no. 2, 2017, pp. 143-148.

Berghel, H. "Alt-News and Post-Truths in the "Fake News" Era." Computer, vol. 50, no. 4, 2017, pp. 110-114.

Berghel, Hal. "Lies, Damn Lies, and Fake News." Computer, vol. 50, no. 2, 2017, pp. 80-85.

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.

Read, Max.  "How Much of the Internet if Fake? Turns out, a lot of it, actually." Intelligencer, New York. Dec 24 2018

Stover, Dawn"Garlin Gilchrist: Fighting fake news and the information apocalypse."  Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol 74, no.4, 2018, pp. 283-288 


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