2017-11-12 02:43:36 UTC
The internet is full of fake news and parody sites. For a long
time, people knew them for what they were: sites aimed at
entertaining readers with a satirical take on the news.
But as trust in the mainstream media has eroded, and use of
social media as a news source has risen, fake news may have
become more influential than ever before.
"The impact of corrections [from mainstream media], which may
have sunk a candidate in another era, was compromised because
there is no longer a consensus on what a fact is," Oliver
explained. "Trust in mainstream media outlets has been falling
and people can choose to get their news from echo chambers
that validate their views."
For example, the top Google news link for "final election
results" on Monday was from a fake-news site called "70 News"
which "reported" that Donald Trump had won both the electoral
and popular vote. As the Washington Post points out, that's
simply not true.
Complicating matters are the plethora of left- and right-
leaning propaganda sites out there, deliberately spreading
misinformation in order to appeal to certain groups. Satire
sites like The Onion and The Borowitz Report are one thing;
sites that promote hoaxes for click-bait or play to people's
deepest fears are quite another.
"Fake facts circulate on social media to a frightening
extent... There is now a whole cottage industry specializing
in hyper-partisan, sometimes wildly distorted clickbait,"
To combat the circulation of misinformation, Fake News Watch
has compiled a list of websites that have been known to be
untruthful, ranging from satirical websites to sites trying to
pass off lies as truth.
Here are several fake news sites that have become popular on
Facebook, and which should be avoided if you're looking for
Publication Name Approximate Facebook Following
American News 5,000,000 Hoax
DC Gazette 420,000 Hoax
Activist Post 540,000 Propaganda
Before It's News 400,000 Propaganda
Daily Buzz Live 160,000 Propaganda
Disclose TV 1,900,000 Propaganda
InfoWars 613,000 Propaganda
Natural News 2,000,000 Propaganda
Red Flag News 270,000 Propaganda
World Truth TV 1,700,000 Propaganda
NewsBusters is a wingnut media watch website that styles
itself as "Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias." The
site is an extension of Brent Bozell III's hate group, Media
While an ostensibly admirable goal to keep check on the media
(quis custodiet ipsos custodes?), it does not so much
expose "liberal bias" as try to ram a Republican agenda in all
over the place. The site also has a blatant anti-science
agenda, often bashing stories on evolution and global warming
that don't give time to wingnut creationist or denialist
Newsbusters' methods for exposing the media's bias toward
liberalism include only reporting instances that they perceive
as liberal and copy/pasting from blogs that have actual,
clearly stated liberal biases