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Research Guides

MISLEADING

DEFINITION : 

  • "A fact, event or quote that has been taken out of context."​ 1
  • "Hardest to debunk because the often contain a kernel of truth."1
  • "Misleading use of information to frame an issue or individual."3

 

ASK YOURSELF:

  1. Does the content match the headline?
  2. Does the evidence support the headline and content?
  3. Is the content partisan?
  4. Is it an old story that has been re-purposed?

SATIRE

DEFINITION:

  • "Sources that use humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule, and false information to comment on current events." 2
  • Satire doesn't pretend to be real but serves as entertainment.1

 

ASK YOURSELF:

  1. Does it come from a known satirical site such as The Onion?
  2. Look beyond the headline. Is the story clearly humorous?

 

EXAMPLES:

FAKE NEWS

DEFINITION : 

  • "Sham sites that are designed to look like real news outlets. They may include misleading photographs and headlines that, at first read, sound like they could be real." 1
  • "Content that is 100% false, designed to deceive and do harm."3
  • "Viral deception" and "identity theft"4

 

ASK YOURSELF:

  1. Does the url end with .co or .su?
  2. Does the site look unprofessional -- poorly written and designed?
  3. Are there any mainstream news outlets covering this story?
  4. Has the story been debunked by Snopes and other watchdog groups?
  5. Is the site listed in Snopes’ Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors?

 

EXAMPLES:

More About Fake News


Sources used on this page:

  1. CNN's Here's how to outsmart fake news in your Facebook feed.
  2. Melissa Zimdars' False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources.
  3. Nieman Foundation for Journalism's MisinfoCon: A Summit on Misinformation
  4. Term coined by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, on CNN's Reliable Sources, 5 Mar. 2017.

HIGHLY PARTISAN

DEFINITION:

  • "A type of misleading news, this may be an interpretation of a real news event where the facts are manipulated to fit an agenda.."1

 

ASK YOURSELF: 

  1. Is there an "About Us" statement? Does this provide clues to potential bias?
  2. Does the article combine news with opinion?
  3. Where on the left to right political continuum does the source fall? To find out use Media Bias/Fact Check.
  4. Does the story convey bias?  Check AllSides to see how the same story is written with different biases.
  5. Check your confirmation bias. Are you more likely to believe the story because it aligns with your political beliefs?

 

EXAMPLES:

CLICKBAIT

DEFINITION: 

  • "The shocking or teasing headlines of these stories trick you into clicking for more information" for the purpose to increasing online advertising revenue via social media sharing.​1

 

ASK YOURSELF: 

  1. Does this have a sensational and provocative headline?
  2. Does the site look unprofessional -- poorly written and designed?
  3. Does the content match the headline?

 

EXAMPLES: