As Facebook and now Google come under scrutiny for promoting fake news, Melissa Zimdars, professor of communications and media at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, has compiled a handy list of websites you should think twice before you trust. “Below is a list of bogus, bogus, regularly misleading and otherwise questionable news organizations that are commonly shared on Facebook and other social media sites,” Zimdars explains. “A lot of these websites rely on ‘outrage’ using distorted headlines and decontextualized or questionable information to generate likes, shares and profits.” (Click here to see the list.)
Be warned: The list of Zimdars has a wide reach and extends beyond smuggling sites (many of which are headquartered in Macedonia) that write fake news for the sole purpose of selling advertisements. Right-wing sources and conspiracy theorists like Breitbart and Infowars appear alongside pure (but often misinterpreted) satire like Onion and The New YorkerBorowitz Report. “Not all of these sources are always or inherently problematic, but I am including them because they should be considered in conjunction with other news / information sources due to their tendency to rely on clickable bait headlines. “Zimdars notes. You should read it carefully, feel free to disagree, and in the spirit of media literacy do your own research.
It also includes some helpful tips for spotting fake news:
• Be careful if well-known / reputable news sites are not also reporting the story. Sometimes the lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but usually there should be more than one source of reporting on a topic or event.
• Weird domain names are usually weird and rarely true information. […]
• If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY, it’s probably a good idea to continue reading about the topic through other sources to make sure the story you are reading was not deliberately trying to make you angry. (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate advertising actions and revenue.
All the right advice before stoking the fire more and sharing a fake story about a date between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin or announcing that Donald Trump has won the popular vote. Read the whole list here.