On Facebook, Google, and in other corners of the online world, false stories are being posted, shared, and believed. Everyone should be concerned over the spread of this "fake news" and all types of misinformation. Given our modern-day information overload, each of us must know how to recognize trustworthy news sources while critically evaluating the many forms of information that we see on a daily basis.
Consider these things when reading stories on the web (social media, Google results, news websites etc.):
Fake news is not a new phenomenon, but the 2016 elections have brought it to the forefront of our attention. The term "fake news" has become a catch-all for all different kinds of news that promote false information, intentionally mislead readers, manipulate our emotions, and provide affirmation to our existing viewpoints and biases.
To complicate things further, it's also becoming more and more common for many people to label news that disagrees with their own viewpoints as fake, without further investigating or verifying the information being presented. So, sometimes you might hear that a news article is fake or that a news source is fake, even when it's pretty reliable. When in doubt, fact check for yourself and/or ask an expert.
Here are some different types of false, misleading, satirical, or otherwise questionable "news":
For more on different types of fake and unreliable news, take a look at this page from Media Matters: Understanding the Fake News Universe.