Considerable interest has recently emerged among communication scholars around what has been called the 'information disorder', that is, a constellation of media genres that includes disinformation, misinformation, fake news, propaganda and hyperpartisan news. The rise in this type of information pollution is related to a crisis of public communication where the public sphere in many countries has become divided and challenged by social and political tensions. On the other hand, the digital space emerges as a socio-technological environment configured around platforms that condition emotional expression through their affordances, favoring the appearance of affective publics. Taking the above into account, this paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding the role played by emotions in our present 'information disorder' and the societal risks that arise from it. It examines how fake news strategically relies on emotionally provocative content to induce outrage and other strong feelings among users, which are then viralized on platforms. The paper concludes by presenting some lines of action for minimizing those risks from the point of view of media literacy.