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Misinformation and fake news

Find out how to identify fake news

What is fake news?

Fake news is now an everyday expression. But what is it exactly? The Australian Government's eSafety Commissioner defines fake news as a  "term used to describe fictional news stories that are made up to support certain agendas". There are many reasons why an organisation or journalist might write a fake news story:

  • To support a certain political viewpoint
  • To drive greater engagement, profits and/or attention (clickbait)
  • Influence the opinion, views or motives of a certain target audience
  • Lack of adherence to journalistic standards and ethics

Fake news can be in the form of:

  • online news
  • print news
  • Tweets, Facebook posts or blogs
  • websites
  • podcasts
  • YouTube videos

It is important to understand that fake news stories exist in a wider ecosystem of misinformation, and that these issues can affect all different types of sources you engage with, not just media or online news content.

Watch the video below for an introduction of fake news and how fake news stories can spread so easily:

Useful resources from the Library collection