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

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

Below is a list of fake, false, regularly misleading, and otherwise questionable “news” organizations that are commonly shared on facebook and other social media sites. Many of these websites rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

Other sources on this list are purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but they are regularly shared as actual/literal news. I’m including them here, for now, because 1.) they have the potential to perpetuate misinformation based on different audience (mis)interpretations and 2.) to make sure anyone who reads a story by The Onion, for example, understands its purpose. If you think this is unnecessary, please see Literally Unbelievable.

Note: Not all of these sources are always or inherently problematic, but I’m including them because they should be considered in conjunction with other news/info sources due to their tendency to rely on clickbait headlines etc.
Addicting Info Politicalo
American News X PoliticusUSA
Associated Media Coverage Huzlers ProjectVeritas
Being Liberal IfYouOnlyNews Rawstory Indecision Forever ( React 365 IJR (Independent Journal Review)
Bipartisan Report InfoWars
BizPac Review Red State
Blue Nation Review
Cap News ( Satira Tribune Liberal America The Blaze The Free Thought Project LMR ( The New Yorker’s Borowitz Report (satire column) The Onion
CollectiveEvolution The Other 98% The Reporterz The Stately Harold
ConspiracyWire ( Naha Daily National Report
Crooks and Liars NC Scooper NCT (New Century Times) News Examiner Upworthy
Daily NewsBin USA Supreme
Daily Wire US.Blasting.News NewsBuzzDaily US Uncut Newslo Newswatch 28 Winning Democrats Newswatch 33 World Net Daily World News Daily Report Now8News
Empire Herald ZeroHedge
Empire News Occupy Democrats (ETF News)


Tips for analyzing news sources:

  • Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo (above). These sites specialize in taking a piece of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts.”
  • Watch out for websites that end in “” as they are often fake versions of real news sources.
  • Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. Sometimes lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.
  • Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news.
  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification.
  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.
  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources to make sure the story you read wasn’t purposefully trying to make you angry (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate shares and ad revenue.
  • It’s always best to read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints and media frames. Some sources not specifically included in this list (although their practices at times may qualify them for addition), such as The Daily Kos and Fox News, vacillate between providing legitimate, problematic, and/or hyperbolic news coverage, requiring readers and viewers to verify and contextualize information with other sources.

If you have suggestions of sources/websites that should be added to the list, please email me at [email protected]

People are asking who I am: I am an assistant professor of communication & media, and this list started as a resource for my students, who are learning about journalism/social media/media literacy.”



Posted on: November 15, 2016, 11:01 am Category: Uncategorized

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