Breitbart and Private Eye among websites accused of false, misleading, clickbait or satirical 'news'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Fake news websites
Fake news websites

The spread of fake online news has itself been hitting headlines in recent weeks, with accusations flying that such content may have helped sweep Donald Trump into the White House.

Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communications and media at Massachusetts's Merrimack College, has created a list of websites as a teaching resource for her students, which categorises websites and organisations that publish "false, misleading, clickbait-y, and/or satirical 'news' sources."

The list of over 135 sites has been uploaded to the web as a public Google Docs file, and breaks them down by four categories.

  • Category 1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some may rely on "outrage" by using distorted headlines and decontextualised 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 that sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions.

  • Category 4: Sources that are purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news.

A few obvious inclusions on the original version of the list, which has undergone subsequent edits, are the likes of The Onion under category 4, Upworthy under category 3, and InfoWars under category 1.

However, the list also included mainstream news sources such as US-based Breitbart under categories 2 and 3. Breitbart's former chairman Stephen Bannon has been chosen by Trump to serve as his chief strategist. UK investigative publication Private Eye was also listed for its deployment of satirical content, category 4.

Whether or not fake and misleading news has an influential effect on readers, or particularly on voters in the US election, is debatable. However, the task at hand is to weed out this misinformation and stop it propagating online. This is no easy job when you consider the sheer volume of websites, social media accounts and blogs all fighting to make themselves heard over the internet's perpetual din.

Zimdars points out that websites that end in .com.co are often fake websites masquerading as reliable sources. AnonNews.co, MSNBC.com.co, and DrudgeReport.com.co all make the list. Equally, odd domain names, bad web design and overuse of the caps lock should be considered red flags when trying to determine a website's trustworthiness.

The list of websites spotted by Motherboard can be found below. To avoid falling foul of such outlets, Zimdar offers the following advice for news-hungry netizens: "It's always best to read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints and media frames. Some sources... vacillate between providing important, legitimate, problematic, and/or hyperbolic news coverage, requiring readers and viewers to verify and contextualise information with other sources.

"Even typically reliable sources, whether mainstream or alternative, corporate or non-profit, rely on particular media frames to report stories and select stories based on different notions of newsworthiness. The best thing to do in our contemporary media environment is to read/watch/listen widely and often, and to be critical of the sources we share and engage with on social media."

100PercentFedUp.com

EnduringVision.com

PakAlertPress.com

21stCenturyWire.com

FPRNradio.com

PoliticalBlindSpot.com

70news.wordpress.com

The Free Thought Project

PoliticalEars.com

Abcnews.com.co

GeoEngineeringWatch.org

Politicalo

ActivistPost.com

GovtSlaves.info

PoliticusUSA

Addicting Info

GulagBound.com

PrisonPlanet.com

AmericanNews.com

HangTheBankers.com

PrisonPlanet.tv

AnonNews.co

HumansAreFree.com

Private-eye.co.uk

Associated Media Coverage

Huzlers

ProjectVeritas

BeforeItsNews.com

IfYouOnlyNews

React 365

Being Liberal

Indecision Forever

RealFarmacy.com

BigAmericanNews.com

IJR (Independent Journal Review)

RealNewsRightNow.com

BigPZone.com

InfoWars

RedFlagNews.com

Bipartisan Report

Infowars.com

Red State

BizPac Review

IntelliHub.com

Reductress

Blue Nation Review

Inquisitor.com

RileNews.com

Breitbart

JonesReport.com

Satira Tribune

Cap News

LewRockwell.com

Sprotspickle.com

ChristWire.org

Liberal America

The Blaze

Chronicle.su

LibertyTalk.fm

The Free Thought Project

CivicTribune.com

LibertyUnyielding

Borowitz Report

ClickHole.com

LibertyVideos.org

The Onion

CoastToCoastAM.com

LMR/LibertyMovementRadio.com

The Other 98%

CollectiveEvolution

MediaMass.net

The Reporterz

ConsciousLifeNews.com

MegynKelly.us

The Stately Harold

ConservativeOutfitters.com

MSNBC.com.co

TheDailySheeple.com

ConspiracyWire (WideAwakeAmerica.com)

MSNBC.website

TheNewsNerd.com

CountdownToZeroTime.com

Naha Daily

TheRunDownLive.com

CounterPsyOps.com

National Report

TheUsPatriot.com

CreamBMP.com

NationalReport.net

TruthFrequencyRadio.com

DailyBuzzLive.com

NaturalNews.com

Twitchy.com

DailyCurrant.com

NC Scooper

UnconfirmedSources.com

Daily Wire

NCT (New Century Times)

USA Supreme

DCClothesLine.com

News Examiner

US.Blasting.News

DCGazette.com

News-Hound.com

US Uncut

DerfMagazine.com

NewsBiscuit.com

VeteransToday.com

Disclose.tv

Newslo

WakingUpWisconsin.com

DrudgeReport.com.co

NewsMutiny.com

Winning Democrats

DuffleBlog.com

Newswatch 28

WitScience.org

DuhProgressive.com

Newswatch 33

World Net Daily

Embols.com

NewsWire-24.com

World News Daily Report

Empire Herald

NoDisInfo.com

WorldTruth.tv

Empire News

Now8News

ZeroHedge

EmpireNews.com

NowTheEndBegins.com

Endingthefed.com

Occupy Democrats

Related Articles

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting