To understand fake news, it helps to have some background information about it. The term "fake news" may be relatively new, but the concept is old. Fake news can be discussed in terms of the information cycle: from the internal idea to the way it is expressed and communicated to issues of access and internal processing.
Fake news is not a new phenomenon. Some caveman may have drawn a dozen bison killed by him to impress his cave mates when in actuality he killed one rabbit. With language comes truth and lies. News, then, reflects both possibilities. With each "new" mass media format -- be it the printing press, radio, television or the Internet -- has come fake news.
What is the information cycle of fake news?
Why create fake news? To assert power and influence, to have fun, to make money. Here are some examples:
How is fake news disseminated?
What techniques are used to get people to read and believe fake news? See the section on advertising in the Media Literacy box
Where do people get their news?