We have a confession to make, everything we've said over the past ~7 years has been fake. Well, not really, but that's what the ultra-liberal, Assistant Professor of Communications at Merrimack College, Melissa "Mish" Zimdars, would like for you to believe.
While it's unclear exactly what prompted Zimdars to publish a list of "fake news" sources, we have a sneaking suspicion it was a coping mechnism cleverly employed by the New England, liberal arts snowflake to deal with the stunning defeat of her chosen Presidential candidate. Or, perhaps she was simply trying to help the folks at Google and Facebook who have vowed to censor "fake news" sources by cutting off their access to advertising.
But, no matter the reason, below is the full list of information resources that Zimdars, the ultimate arbiter of credibility, has deemed "fake." Notice that while the list includes numerous conservative news sources like Breitbart, Infowars, Twitchy, The Blaze and Bizpac Review, it excludes the beacon of impartiality known as The Huffington Post.
Moreover, Zimdars even provided the following helpful categorization guidelines to help you determine the level of "fakeness" exhibited by each site. Zero Hedge has not yet been assigned a category, which we find kind of hurtful.
CATEGORY 1: Below is a list of 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. These websites are categorized with the number 1 next to them.
CATEGORY 2: Some websites on this list may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information, and they are marked with a 2.
CATEGORY 3: Other websites on this list sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions, and they are marked with a 3.
CATEGORY 4: 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 have the potential to be 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.
Perhaps Zimdars missed this John Podesta email exposing Arianna Huffington blatantly colluding with the Hillary campaign to "echo their message without any perceived conflicts." Or, maybe this was just dismissed as useless Russian propaganda?
"She is enthusiastic abt the project but asks if she's more useful to us not being on the Board and, instead, using Huffpo to echo our message without any perceived conflicts. She has a point."
In any event, the ever helpful Zimdars also provides the following "tips for analyzing news sources":
Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo (above). These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts” (sometimes for the purposes of satire or comedy).
Watch out for websites that end in “.com.co” 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.
Some news organizations are also letting bloggers post under the banner of particular news brands; however, many of these posts do not go through the same editing process (ex: BuzzFeed Community Posts, Kinja blogs, Forbes blogs).
Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.
Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the source you’re looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.
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.
While we suspect that Zimdars doesn't understand half of what we write and objected to our factual coverage of the WikiLeaks emails along with Hillary's FBI investigation and many other scandals, we welcome her readership to the extent she ever wishes to expand her chosen sources of enlightenment beyond the Rachel Maddow Show.
Finally, we leave it to @MattTturner4L to perfectly summ up the hypocrisy…