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WCCC Library: Fake News

The Haytaian & Maier Library

Trustworthy Site or 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

No single topic falls under a single category - for example, false or misleading medical news may be entirely fabricated (Category 1), may intentionally misinterpret facts or misrepresent data (Category 2), may be accurate or partially accurate but use an alarmist title to get your attention (Category 3) or may be a critique on modern medical practice (Category 4.)  Some articles fall under more than one category.  Assessing the quality of the content is crucial to understanding whether what you are viewing is true or not.   It is up to you to do the legwork to make sure your information is good.


Check out Zimdars' list of False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources

Who Owns It?

One way to find out whether you can trust an internet site is to check who owns the site!  You can look up the domain owner, which is who owns the website. 


Remember, just because a website is a .org or a .gov, that doesn't mean that it is trustworthy!  Check out this article from the NY Times which explains why: The Meaninglessness of the .Org Domain.

Spotting Fake News

Warren County Community College
Haytaian & Maier Library
475 Route 57 West
Washington, New Jersey 07882
Text: 908-652-4445