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A Working Definition of Fake News

14 pages, pdf
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A Working Definition of Fake News

Publisher: João Pedro Baptista and Anabela Gradim

Volume: 14 pages, pdf


Current literature on fake news is rather abundant and mainly focused on history, variety, and types, rather than processes. This review draws on current literature to build a working definition of fake news focused on its present relevance to journalism and political communication contemporary debate, distinguishing it from non-pertinent conceptual varieties and contributing to a much-needed clarification on the subject. We performed a qualitative analysis of the literature published between 2016 and 2020. Data were extracted from Web of Science and Scopus. We define fake news as a type of online disinformation with misleading and/or false statements that may or may not be associated with real events, intentionally designed to mislead and/or manipulate a specific or imagined public through the appearance of a news format with an opportunistic structure (title, image, content) to attract the reader’s attention in order to obtain more clicks and shares and, therefore, greater advertising revenue and/or ideological gain.