Fake news is not news you disagree with.
There are many definitions of fake news, but the topic is a rapidly developing one and not easy to summarise. Here is one attempt:
"Fake news" is "fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent. Fake-news outlets, in turn, lack the news media's editorial norms and processes for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of information. Fake news overlaps with other information disorders, such as misinformation (false or misleading information) and disinformation (false information that is purposely spread to deceive people)."
Clickbait is probably the most easily recognisable fake news. Readers are lured into reading the story by sensational and misleading headlines and/or pictures only to discover the story doesn’t live up to the promise and be bombarded by adverts.
Labelling accurate sources and reports as "fake" has become an easy way to dismiss actual news. It has become a lazy, way of saying "I don't like this", "I don't believe it", or "I disagree with that" . This is in turn makes it harder for people to distinguish the facts from fiction and distinguish genuine news from satire and parody. Although satire and parody are sometimes called fake news they do not deliberately set out to confuse or mislead the reader or viewer, instead they mock current events and news media for fun.
Read more at Fake news glossary: Top 10 words to know , BBC, 4 Aug 2020 (Links to a different site)
Image 'Fake news' by Markus Winkler
Fake news is not new. Fake news has been circulating for at least as long as news and gossip has been circulating. Read the following articles for historical examples of fake news and disinformation.
Ian Hislop's Fake News: A True History
BBC Documentary available through Box of Broadcasts
Ask yourself is it easier for more fake new and disinformation to spread as more and more information and comment is available online. What can you do to protect yourself and others?
Watch out for those Twitter Bots!
Facebook has revealed how it will start tackling fake news stories and how users' newsfeeds will change after a new update.
Hany Farid, Professor of Computational Science at Dartmouth College, shows us that pictures are not always to be trusted and the human eye is the least equipped to tell the truth.
Amnesty International launches a new site to help journalists verify YouTube videos.
Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn shows how he used AI and 3D modeling to create photorealistic fake videos of people synced to audio, and discusses both the creative and more negative ethical implications of the technology.
Provides multiple angles on the same story.
Channel 4 news blog
A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) at the University of Pennsylvania established to monitor the factual accuracy of claims made by US politicians across a variety of media
A browser plugin that lets you know if a website is trying to get it right or instead has a hidden agenda or knowingly publishes falsehoods or propaganda.
BBC Radio 4: Moral Maze: The Morality of Fake News
Has the internet made possible a more democratic and open journalism that reports that challenges traditional mouthpieces, or has it led to a dismantling of fair and objective reporting and proliferation of rumour and untruths?
Gelfert, Axel. Fake News: A Definition Article in Informal Logic 38(1):84-117 · March 2018
'How to spot fake news' Article from FactCheck.Org