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Shenandoah University

Fake News & Critical Thinking: Fake News

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What is Fake News?

Image adapted from

According to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College, fake news falls into 4 broad categories: 

  • Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.
  • Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information.
  • Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions.
  • Satire/comedy sites, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news.