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Shenandoah University

Fake News & Critical Thinking: So What?

Why Should We Care?

Now, more than ever, all responsible citizens need the skills to identify accurate information and real facts. We should be able to think critically and determine which facts and information are accurate - and which might be Fake News, or

  • Misinformation:  "False or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive." See the SU book [login required] Web of deceit: misinformation and manipulation in the age of social media.
  • Alternative Fact: "A statement intended to contradict another more verifiable, but less palatable, statement." This term received heightened attention because of a statement made by Counselor to President Trump Kelleyanne Conway during a January 22, 2017 interview with Meet the Press.
  • Post-Truth: "After much discussion, debate, and research, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.' "

[Definitions retrieved from Oxford Living Dictionaries and Collins dictionary.  See this Glossary from Miami Dade College Library for more terms and definitions.]

“Get your facts first and then you can distort ’em as much as you please.”

Quoted in Gary Scharnhorst. (2006). Mark Twain : The Complete Interviews. University Alabama Press.

[Image by Tobias Rose-Stockwell retrieved from How we broke democracy. Data from Pew Research Center, The modern news consumer.]

[Image by Tobias Rose-Stockwell retrieved from How we broke democracy. Data from Pew Research Center, The modern news consumer.]