Skip to Main Content

WRT120: Fake News

fake news

false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke:

(Definition of “fake news” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)


Internet information that includes one of the following:

  1. stories that are promoted as news which are either misleading, rumors, urban legends, hoaxes, conspiracy theories and/or propaganda, OR,
  2. stories that are actually true news stories that have been slanted by bias in such a way that they completely ignore possible inconsistencies in order to "push the narrative forward", OR,
  3. they are satire stories that are confused for actual news.

Satirical News Sites

News satire is a type of parody presented in a format typical of mainstream journalism, and called a satire because of its content. News satire has been around almost as long as journalism itself, but it is particularly popular on the web, with websites like The Onion, where it is relatively easy to mimic a legitimate news source. News satire relies heavily on irony and deadpan humor.

(Definition from Wikipedia Sept. 2021)

10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Story

  • The source is known to be shady
  • Other stories from source are incredulous
  • Reputable News Sites Aren't Carrying It
  • It Predicts a Future Disaster
  • It Reveals a Cure for a Major Illness
  • The Website Carries a Disclaimer
  • The Story Is a Little Too Funny or Interesting
  • A Poll is Featured
  • The Website Has an Odd Domain Name
  • The Story Makes You Angry

Melanie Radzicki McManus "10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Story" 8 September 2015. <> 26 January 2017


How to Fact-Check Information