"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:
- 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).