The term "fake news" is recent, but promulgating misleading and false information is age-old. Before the use of social media influencing public opinion by manipulating information was called "disinformation" or disinformation campaigns." Under the heading "Nothing New Here, a BBC article, The (almost) complete history of fake news, states:
Misinformation, spin, lies and deceit have of course been around forever. But what Silverman and others uncovered was a unique marriage between social media algorithms, advertising systems, people prepared to make stuff up to earn some easy cash and an election that gripped a nation and much of the world.
American Library magazine
Pew Research Center
As we've seen, you can read or hear almost anything. Check out information that seems intended to inflame on these websites.
FactCheck.org: This nonpartisan, nonprofit organization is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
The International Fact-Checking Network: (IFCN) is a forum for fact-checkers worldwide hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. These organizations fact-check statements by public figures, major institutions and other widely circulated claims of interest to society.”
Politifact: “PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times . . .”
Snopes: “The definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.”
Sunlight Foundation: “The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses technology, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.”