“Fake News” has become a catch-all for any information an individual deems untrue. Disturbingly, it has also become a label applied to anything out-of-line with an individual’s worldview. The purpose of intentionally generated misinformation is multifaceted and can be designed to: make fun of, create humor, create distress, start a panic, change opinions, be an outright lie and worse, be a matter of life or death.
Today’s online sources leave a lot to be desired when the average individual makes any attempt at understanding exactly what fake news is and how to identify it. Articles are paired with realistic headlines, icons, and text, but the author may be completely fabricated.
Fake news is not only crafty, but it is designed to confuse and influence. The creators of fake news understand that the human brain can only try to question for a limited time and then gives up. These purveyors inundate viewers with constant chaos so that within a short time, they achieve their goals and the viewer believes everything that they see or ignores all news which effectively achieves their goal of a less informed more distrusting public.
Below are some guidelines to assist in the process of discerning the nuances and variety of misinformation types suited to different purposes.