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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Fake News

Real News vs. Fake News

Identifying Misinformation


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.


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


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.


Real News Right Now

American News


News (NOT BBC News)

Patriot News Daily


Satire websites may be interpreted as news out of context, but the stories are not real and meant to be humorous.

The Onion


The Babylon Bee

The Daily Discord

News Biscuit

Unconfirmed Sources

Other Helpful Skills

Polish some of the research skills that will be necessary for research, writing, and presentation across multiple academic disciplines.