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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Spotting Fake News

A guide to navigating the world of fake news and information


Question: Is there a difference between ‘fake news’ and ‘fake information’?

Answer: Not really, however it’s felt by many that avoiding the term ‘fake news’, or at least limiting its use, as the term ‘fake news’ is closely associated with politics, is a useful strategy,  when this political association can narrow the focus of the issue in hand. 

The term ‘false information’ is preferable as it can refer to a diverse range of disinformation covering topics such as health, environmental and economics across all platforms and genres, while ‘fake news’ is more narrowly understood as political news stories.

Example of fake information:

Not all of the fake information we encounter can be through just a supposed media account, an online blog or a Twitter or Facebook account. They can come through avenues that are personal.

For example, the WhatsApp message, that went viral,  from a 'Dr Tim'. The message was debunked after spreading through to many people, propigating fake information about COVID 19 in Cork and its surrounding areas.

 Stop Spreading Dr Tim WhatsApp Falsehood