Social media is a great way to connect with others and learn new things, but what if the stuff we're reading isn’t the whole truth and nothing but the truth – are we being misled? But why would anyone want to do that? What purpose would it serve them?

1 is Not confident

5 is Very confident


What is false or misleading information?

You've likely heard the term “fake news”before, but this phrase generally has more to do with politics in recent times and less to do with the issue of false and misleading information on social media.

False information is not new. Since we are now able to access and consume so much information over social media, it's become increasingly difficult for the content to be regulated. Because of this, understanding how misinformation can spread and being able to potentially identify and check a story is vital.

So, what is false or misleading information? Lots of things you read online may appear to be true, but sometimes it's not. False information refers to news pieces, stories or hoaxes that are deliberately created to mislead or deceive readers.  Quite often they are created to push someone’s point of view or to make money from advertising, so you are encouraged to click and share.


  • Clickbait

    Clickbait involves using either a sensationalised or untrue story as an attempt to get people to visit the website for the purpose of advertising revenue. 

  • Satire & Parody

    Some websites or social media accounts have been set specifically for entertainment purposes, but often pass as legitimate sites at first glance.

  • Sloppy Journalism

    Sometimes a story may be published when the information within has not been thouroughly checked, the piece has not been proofread, or the article is biased. 

  • Misleading Headlines

    Stories with sensationalised headings can be spread easily when only the heading is displayed. This often sparks more debate than the refering article itself due to the nature of the controversial headings. 

  • Biased Author

    The authors own beliefs and biases are within the story that may or may not coincide with the readers own beliefs and biases.

  • Propaganda

    A story is created to deliberately mislead to promote a political agenda or cause.

Can you identify what type of false information you think these stories fall within

Hilary Clinton uses private email server while secretary for state.
Supermodel uses revolutionary cream to stay young. Click here to find out more.
MPs once again excitedly clapping for someone they won't help
People are hit by lightning in Oslo at the Flisa National Rallycross meeting.