Fake News


What is fake news?

"Fake news is not to be confused with satirical news as seen on shows like 'Saturday Night Live' and 'Last Week Tonight.' Fake news is not a humorous comment on the news. Rather, fake news seeks to supplant the news, to sway its audience into believing all sorts of untruths and conspiracy theories, the more bizarre, the better."
-- Leonard Pitts, "Newspapers, the Answer to Fake News," Baltimore Sun (1 December 2016)

According to a poll conducted for BuzzFeed, 75% of American adults who were familiar with a fake news headline viewed the story as accurate.  

Types of Fake News

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

Fake News Sites - Examples

The Daily Dot: Fake News Sites List
NOTE: This list is not exhaustive and may be updated at any time. A compiled list of fake news sites to watch out for.

List of Fake and Parody News
Professor Zimdars' original list and criteria, with updates and addenda.

The Onion
One of America's premier parodic news sites.

The Borowitz Report
From humorist Andy Borowitz, a column parodizing and commenting on current news trends

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Mercola is a doctor of osteopathy who has frequently been targeted by the FDA for promoting false, misleading and even dangerous medical advice. His site promotes products and his blog includes false and/or misleading information about medical topics.

Checking a News Claim

Contact Us

picture of Lisabeth Chabot
College Librarian
(607) 274-3182

Detecting Fake News

Fake News Checklists

Fact Checking


Fake News Quiz

Compare these two links.  Which one do you think is true?  Why or why not?
1 - Eat This Not That: Shocking Facts About Farmed Salmon
2 - Washington State Department of Health: Farmed vs. Wild Salmon


Source: Indiana University East.