"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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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
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"Associate Professor Hafiz Malik is battling the future of fake news." UM-Dearborn Reporter. April 22, 2019
Stover, Dawn. "Garlin Gilchrist: Fighting fake news and the information apocalypse." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol 74, no.4, 2018, pp. 283-288
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.
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.