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Fake News: What is Fake News?

Examples

Satire

Satire websites are sites that may be topical, but the stories are not real and meant to be humorous.

The Onion

McSweeney's

The Babylon Bee

The Daily Discord

News Biscuit

Unconfirmed Sources

Clickbait and Hoaxes

These websites also have bits of true stories but insinuate and make up other details to create an emotional response, typically anger or fear. Most of these are conspiratorial in nature, are very unreliable, and frequently shared on social media. The stories often feature outrageous headlines in all capital letters.

The Daily Sheeple

REALfarmacy

Addicting Info

Bipartisan Report

Daily Kos

Info Wars

Imposter News Sites

These websites are designed to look like legitimate sites and incorporate some facts into their stories, but the articles are false. They are an attempt to convince readers to pass the news on as if it were true. These fake news sites get revenue from the ads you see on the page.

WITScience

Real News Right Now

American News

CBS News.com.co

News BBC.net

Patriot News Daily

What counts as "fake?"

"Fake news is not to be confused with satirical news as seen on shows like 'Saturday Night Live' and 'Last Week Tonight.' Fake news is not a humorous comment on the news. Rather, fake news seeks to supplant the news, to sway its audience into believing all sorts of untruths and conspiracy theories, the more bizarre, the better."

-- Leonard Pitts, "Newspapers, the Answer to Fake News," Baltimore Sun (1 December 2016)

Categories

There are four broad categories of fake news, according to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College.

CATEGORY 1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

CATEGORY 2: Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information

CATEGORY 3: Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions

CATEGORY 4: Satire/comedy sites, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news

No single topic falls under a single category - for example, false or misleading medical news may be entirely fabricated (Category 1), may intentionally misinterpret facts or misrepresent data (Category 2), may be accurate or partially accurate but use an alarmist title to get your attention (Category 3), or may be a critique on modern medical practice (Category 4).  Some articles fall under more than one category. It is up to you to do the legwork to make sure your information is good.

False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources

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