Taking into consideration definitions above, two things are necessary to expose and explain either disinformation or fake news:
- Proof that the claims made are false.
- Proof that the falsehood was intentional.
Proving intentional falsehood is more difficult. However, proving intent allows us to better explain disinformation, in addition to identifying and exposing it. For that reason, once we identify factual errors, we ask a number of follow-up questions.
- Was the error corrected in a reasonable time frame?
- If not, is there any proof that the author knew it was an error?
- If not, could the mistake have been avoided by conducting basic research?
- Is this a consistent pattern of behavior by the author?