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HLTB30: Current Issues in Health

Fall 2021 - Professor Vidya Anderson

Key Terms


Misinformation is information that is incorrect, counterfactual, or misleading, either intentionally or accidentally.


Disinformation is a form of misinformation. It refers to false information that is deliberately created or disseminated in order to deceive people or cause harm. Producers of disinformation typically have political, financial, psychological, or social motivations.

Fake News

Fake news is another form of misinformation. It refers to distorted, exaggerated, or falsified reports on a topic that are generally intended to mislead an audience or outright lie. Fake news mimics the form of traditional news media, but it lacks editorial norms and processes for ensuring accuracy and credibility.

How to Recognize Fake News

Consider the source: click away from the story to investigate the website, its mission, and its contact information

Check the author: research the author - are they credible?

Check the date: when was the story published? If the story is older, is it still relevant to current events?

Read beyond the title: headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?

Check supporting sources: click on links within the story to determine if the information provided actually supports the story.

Is it a joke? If the story is outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and its author to be sure of the story's intent.

Check your biases: consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement.

Ask the experts: Ask a librarian or consult a fact-checking site.