About the Blog

Misinformation is a real threat to to only the safety and security of a given nation, but also the critical thinking skills of a given population. Misinformation is not a new phenomena, one that has been around since the Renaissance and has been utilized by state actors and non-state actors to fulfill a political or economic goal. In recent times, one can see the amount of power a form of Misinformation, called “Fake News”, has upon the public.

These early examples included, most prominently, the 1898 Spanish-American War, in which news publishers William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer tried to influence and galvanize the American public in the New York area towards war with Spain. Fake News however truly came into its own in the 21st century, with the development of social media and the proliferation of technology in every facet of American daily life.

First though, before informing on what this blog will be, we must define the term “Fake News”, given the amount of politicization and overuse this term has created.

Cambridge Dictionary defines Fake News as being, “false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke”. This term gets at what fake news is pretty solidly, providing a fantastic basic definition of the term. However, Fake News is only one area of a “larger ecosystem of mis-and disinformation”, as the University of Michigan’s Library describes. The University of Michigan also provides a stellar graphic for the understanding of the world of Misinformation;

Claire Wardle, “Fake news. It’s complicated,” FirstDraftNews.

For the purposes of this blog, the “Satire or Parody” category will be left out for the most part. While many people are able to recognize when something is satire or parody, some do not, which can cause them to become unintentionally fooled. For the purposes of this blog, what will be examined are instances of Misleading Content, Imposter Content, Fabricated Content, False Connection, False Context, or Manipulated Content. Within a single news source, as well, it is very probable that a single news organization specializing in fake news will take part in one or all of these tactics of misinformation.

This blog, quite simply, aims to explore a fake news outlet in every blog post. Each blog post will explore a different fake news outlet of the political left or right and determine their veracity by exploring their published content, associations with other outlets and personalities, founders’ histories and pasts, how other fact-checking and undeniably credible news outlets regard the outlet in question, and explore all relevant information in regards to the publication’s methods. At the end of the post, an assessment will be made about the news outlet, if they are working for an economic or political goal or are involved in something larger than themselves.

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