Fake News and Beyond: Other Types of Bad Information Sources

Adapted and extended based on definitions used by Melissa Zimdars' Open Sources project that classifies websites for credibility.

  • Fake News: Sources that entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports.
  • DeepFakes: Use of video software to create events that never happened or distort a person's statements for propaganda purposes or to discredit public figures for political gain.
  • Satire: Sources that use humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule, satire, and false information to comment on current events.
  • State-sponsored News: Sources in repressive states operating under government sanctions and control. Propaganda.
  • Junk Science: Sources that promote discredited conspiracy theories, naturalistic fallacies, and scientifically false or dubious claims.
  • Hate News: Sources that actively promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of bias and discrimination.
  • Clickbait: Sources that provide generally credible content, but use exaggerated, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images.
  • Proceed With Caution: Sources that may be reliable but whose contents require further verification.
  • Political: Sources that provide generally verifiable information in support of certain points of view or political orientations.
  • Credible: Sources that circulate news and information in a manner consistent with traditional and ethical practices in journalism. (Remember: even credible sources sometimes rely on clickbait-style headlines or occasionally make mistakes. No news organization is perfect, which is why a healthy news diet consists of multiple sources of information).