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Evaluating Information in the Era of "Fake News"

This research guide is meant to help users navigate the evaluation of information and "fake news".

Important Definitions

Below are a few important definitions that will help you understand the Fake News problem.  All three of these aspects of the problem feed into each other to create a toxic media environment.  Fake News is often propagated in Echo Chambers by people who are fooled due to their Confirmation bias who in turn further the spread of Fake News.  Read on to learn more...


What is Fake News?

"Fake news is the deliberate and/or reckless spread of misinformation under the guise of authentic or genuine news.  This can be done through traditional news media sources or social media often with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically."1


What is Confirmation Bias?

"The tendency to seek and interpret information that confirms existing beliefs."2


What is an Echo Chamber?

"Echo chambers (in news and politics) refer to groups that form based upon certain opinions or worldviews.  These groups tend to reject any information that challenges their worldview and accept only information that reinforces their worldview regardless of the truth or factual nature of this information.  These groups also tend to be self-reinforcing."


What is a Filter Bubble?

"A filter bubble is the intellectual isolation that can occur when websites make use of algorithms to selectively assume the information a user would want to see, and then give information to the user according to this assumption. Websites make these assumptions based on the information related to the user, such as former click behavior, browsing history, search history and location. For that reason, the websites are more likely to present only information that will abide by the user's past activity. A filter bubble, therefore, can cause users to get significantly less contact with contradicting viewpoints, causing the user to become intellectually isolated. Personalized search results from Google and personalized news stream from Facebook are two perfect examples of this phenomenon."3


1  Definition of Fake News a variation of one found here: Wikipedia contributors. "Fake news." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Apr. 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

2  "Confirmation Bias." The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, Arthur S. Reber, et al., Penguin, 4th edition, 2009. Credo Reference, Accessed 11 Apr 2017.

3  "Filter Bubble." Techopedia, Accessed 13 Apr 2017.

Resources to Get Started...

Types of Fake News


Fake News Image -- Follow the Link for Further Information

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