Skip to main content
Banner Image

Hot Topics: Fake News and Misinformation: Home

Fake News: What Is It?

What is Fake News?

Fake News is a recent term for an old phenomenon: misinformation. These published articles are designed to look like news, spread virally, and draw on people's strong emotions. People may publish misinformation for a variety of reasons, including:

  • political gain
  • advertising revenue
  • as a joke or prank
  • commentary on politics or culture (satire)

Fake News has become much more prevalent due to the spread of social media and our reliance on internet sources. Some politicians may use the term "fake news" to disparage reputable news sources that report unflattering information - this is not the type of fake news covered in this guide. Instead, it focuses on misinformation, disinformation, and disreputable information sources.This guide will help you tell fact from fiction, and give you the skills to navigate the world of information.


These statistics are from Statista. Visit their website for more data, reports, and analysis.

Current News on the Topic of Fake News

Loading ...



PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter - PolitiFact's Latest Fact Checks

Contact Us!

Want some help identifying reliable sources? Contact a librarian!


Phone: (207) 581-1673

Chat: During Reference hours, click "Have a Question?" at the bottom of any library webpage

In-Person: Visit the Help Desk on the first floor of Fogler Library

Text: Text the word BEAR to 66746, then send your question

You can also set up a reference appointment with your subject librarian. To find out who it is and how to contact them, visit our list of Subject Specialists.

5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 ; (207) 581-1673

Chat is offline. Contact the library.