A collection of resources to assist readers and researchers in spotting fake news and fake news sources.
Google News feed
- “Hacker X”—the American who built a pro-Trump fake news empire—unmasks himselfAx Sharma, Oct. 14, 2021, Ars Technica.
A self-described "ethical hacker" discusses his role in spreading misinformation during and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
- Op-Ed: Why can’t a generation that grew up online spot the misinformation in front of them?Sam Wineberg and Nadav Ziv, Nov. 6, 2020, Los Angeles Times.
This op-ed argues that the "old ways" of spotting misinformation in print sources is no longer appropriate for evaluating web sources.
- That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent ItDarren Linvill and Patrick Warren, Nov. 25, 2019, Rolling Stone.
"Fake news" is not always false. However, the motivation for sending it might not be what you would think. This article discusses Russian troll campaigns that focus on getting people to share uplifting posts and amassing an audience that will later be exposed to disinformation.
- 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media ManipulationSamantha Bradshaw & Philip N. Howard. (2019) The Global Disinformation Disorder: 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation. Working Paper 2019.2. Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda.
This 26-page document (PDF) reports on organized disinformation campaigns (troll farms, authoritarian propaganda) that manipulate social media to spread fake news. The report reveals that more countries are being affected by these campaigns as time goes on, and that Facebook is the most popular site for such "computational propaganda".
- Forget April Fools’ Day. Today is International Fact-Checking DayDaniel Funke and Susan Benkelman, April 2, 2019, Poynter.
"Today [April 2] is the third annual International Fact-Checking Day. The IFCN launched the holiday in 2017 to be a rallying cry for more facts in politics, journalism and everyday life."
- The "Complete" Cancer Cure story is both bogus and tragicMegan Molteni, Jan. 31, 2019, Wired
Discusses the story of the supposed cancer cure that was touted by a biotech company and reported uncritically by major news outlets.
- The godfather of fake news : Meet one of the world’s most prolific writers of disinformationAnisa Subedar, Nov. 27, 2018, BBC.
A fake-news maven shares his reasons for planting false stories in social media.
"Once his stories go viral, the Facebook comments burst forth. And that’s when Christopher Blair the fake news writer becomes Christopher Blair the crusading left-wing troll."
- Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation nowGloria Origgi, March 14, 2018, Aeon
A philosophical look at the relationship between the relative "truth" of news and the reputation of who is disseminating it.
- The spread of true and false news onlineSoroush Vosoughi, Deb Roy and Sinan Aral, March 9, 2018, Science.
Researchers from MIT studied the creation and dissemination of fake news on Twitter, concluding that fake news reaches more people in a shorter period of time than true news. This is likely due to the novelty and emotional reaction associated with fake news stories.
- The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake NewsRobinson Meyer, March 8, 2018, The Atlantic.
The Atlantic discusses the conclusions of the Science article on fake news.
- 'Fake news' on Twitter spreads faster, farther than truth, study findsAnn Reynolds, March 8, 2018, ABC News.
[AUTOPLAY VIDEO] News report of the MIT study that concludes "false information spread significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information."
- Twitter suspends thousands of suspected bot accounts, and the pro-Trump crowd is furiousEli Rosenberg, February 21, 2018, The Washington Post.
Twitter has deactivated accounts thought to be used by Russian bots, leading to claims of censorship.
- ‘Fake News,’ Trump’s Obsession, Is Now a Cudgel for StrongmenSteve Erlanger, Dec. 12, 2017, New York Times.
Erlanger argues that Trump's constant use of the term "fake news" is influencing autocrats in other countries.
- A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operationShawn Boburg, Aaron C. Davis and Alice Crites, Nov. 27, 2017, The Washington Post.
The Washington Post relates the attempt of Project Veritas to persuade them to print fake news.
- To think critically, you have to be both analytical and motivatedJohn Timmer, Nov. 15, 2017, Ars Technica.
Article discusses a study showing that the motivation, and not just the ability, to think critically is important in spotting and unraveling fake news.
- Jenna Abrams, Russia’s Clown Troll Princess, Duped the Mainstream Media and the WorldBen Collins, Joseph Cox, Nov. 7, 2017, Daily Beast.
Russian "troll farms" have been discovered feeding fake news and memes to influence the 2016 U.S. election. The "Jenna Abrams" Twitter account is an example of how this misinformation became embedded into social media.
- Misinfluencers, Inc.: How Fake News Is Reaching Millions Using Verified Facebook AccountsBethania Palma and Vinny Green, September 29, 2017, Snopes.
This article discusses how a number of verified celebrity Facebook accounts are being manipulated to spread fake news and click bait articles.
- The Fake-News FallacyAdrian Chen, Sept. 4, 2017, The New Yorker.
An article about political and propaganda use of the ability of "fake news" to spread widely across the Internet.
- Fighting falsities: Tips on fighting fake news from the people who debunk it for a livingAshley Rodriguez, May 16, 2017, Quartz.
The author talks to the founders of Snopes and Storyful, and a neuroscientist who has written a book on critical thinking.
- I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.John Bohannon, May 15, 2017, Gizmodo.
The author relates how he performed a "scientific study" that was picked up as fact by news outlets, even though the science behind it was faulty.
- Inside the Macedonian Fake-News ComplexSamanth Subramanian, Feb. 15, 2017, Wired.
This article discusses the activities of a fake-news author, "Boris", a teenager living in a small town in Macedonia.
- How to Spot Fake NewsEugene Kiely and Lori Robertson, Nov. 18, 2016, FactCheck.org.
A number of tips to make sure you are not taken in by a fake story.
- Meet the Professor Who’s Trying to Help You Steer Clear of ClickbaitNadia Dreid, Nov. 17, 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education.
An article about Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College, who has been maintaining a list of "False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical 'News' Sources."
- Scientist criticizes media portrayal of researchChris Woolston, July 24, 2015, Nature.
A report of a scientific article that criticizes how scientific articles are reported. Includes link to scientific article.
Books and other media
- A Field Guide to "Fake News" and Other Information Disorders"A Field Guide to “Fake News” and Other Information Disorders explores the use of digital methods to study false viral news, political memes, trolling practices and their social life online." A project of the Public Data Lab.
- A Field Guide to Lies : Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. LevitinCall Number: BC177 .L486 2016ISBN: 9780525955221Publication Date: 2016Available from Five College Library system. Use link above to request.
Articles about fake news and media literacy can be found in these science and social science library databases. Accessible to the UMass community; you will be prompted for your net ID and password.
Some relevant databases in this field are:
- ComAbstracts This link opens in a new windowCommunications, journalism.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- Communication and Mass Media Complete This link opens in a new windowCommunications, journalism.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- Education Database This link opens in a new windowEducation.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- Google ScholarMultidisciplinary. No login required.
- ProQuest Political Science This link opens in a new windowPolitical science.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- ProQuest Social Science Database This link opens in a new windowPolitical science, public policy and administration, sociology.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- PsycINFO This link opens in a new windowPsychology.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- Sage Journals This link opens in a new windowPsychology.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- Social Science Abstracts This link opens in a new windowPolitical science, sociology.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- Web of Science This link opens in a new windowMultidisciplinary.Available on campus to all, or off-campus to UMass Amherst students, staff and faculty with an UMass Amherst IT NetID (user name) and password.
- Last Updated: Nov 3, 2022 5:18 PM
- URL: https://guides.library.umass.edu/fakenews
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