“Fake news” is a buzzword used to describe many things these days — from satirical news organizations, to anyone with a differing opinion, to legitimate propaganda campaigns put out by governments with ulterior motives. Regardless of how much  merit some of these things do or do not have, with the dawn of the information age has come the dawn of misinformation.

Some may scoff at the United States’ freedom of the press, covered under the First Amendment of the Constitution, saying that our government practically runs major news networks — and those people will point a finger at the network that politically leans toward the side they disagree with. More likely, major news networks primarily concern themselves with money, and the individual journalists and reporters have a whole host of various reasons why they do what they do.

It is very different from news coming out of places like Iran or Turkey, or a place like Burma/Myanmar, for example, where they play on the western fear of terrorism to rally the troops against a Muslim minority (all the while conducting similar attacks to non-Muslims from other minorities on the other side of the country). This type of information comes out of news organizations and is published across the internet, attempting to drown out the overwhelming amount of reports that are literally reporting (with video and in-person interviews) the opposite of their agenda.

It is also different when it comes out of Russian news agencies. Arguments could be made for non state-sponsored Russian news organizations, but it’s important to be able to distinguish between those and the organizations that are literally funded and owned by the Russian government.