List of fake news websites

Fake news sites are those which intentionally, but not necessarily solely, publish hoaxes and disinformation for purposes other than news satire. Some of these sites use homograph spoofing attacks, typosquatting and other deceptive strategies similar to those used in phishing attacks to resemble genuine news outlets.[1][2]

Definition

Fake news site deliberately publish hoaxes and disinformation to drive web traffic inflamed by social media.[3][4][5] These sites are distinguished from news satire (which is humorous) as they mislead and sometimes profit from readers' gullibility.[4] While most fake news sites are portrayed to be spinoffs of other news sites, some of these websites are examples of website spoofing, structured to make visitors believe they are visiting trusted sources like ABC News or MSNBC.[6] The New York Times pointed out that within a strict definition, "fake news" on the Internet referred to a fictitious article which was fabricated with the deliberate motivation to defraud readers, generally with the goal of profiting through clickbait.[7] PolitiFact described fake news as fabricated content designed to fool readers and subsequently made viral through the Internet to crowds that increase its dissemination.[8]

The New York Times noted in a December 2016 article that fake news had previously maintained a presence on the Internet and within tabloid journalism in the years prior to the 2016 U.S. election.[7] Except for the 2016 Philippine elections,[9] prior to the election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, fake news had not impacted the election process and subsequent events to such a high degree.[7] Subsequent to the 2016 election, the issue of fake news turned into a political weapon, with supporters of left-wing politics saying those on the opposite side of the spectrum spread falsehoods, and supporters of right-wing politics arguing such accusations were merely a way to censor conservative views.[7] Due to these back-and-forth complaints, the definition of fake news as used for such polemics became more vague.[7]

International list

Name Notes Sources
70 News A WordPress-hosted site that published a false news story, stating that Donald Trump had won the popular vote in the 2016 United States presidential election; the fake story rose to the top in searches for "final election results" on Google News. [10][11]
ABCnews.com.co (defunct) Owned by Paul Horner. Mimics the URL, design and logo of ABC News (owned by Disney–ABC Television Group). [12][13]
American News Published a false story claiming actor Denzel Washington endorsed Donald Trump for president. The fictional headline led to thousands of people sharing it on Facebook, a prominent example of fake news spreading on the social network prior to the 2016 presidential election. [14][15][16]
Before It's News Cited by U.S. President Donald Trump at his 2016 campaign rallies. Before It's News and InfoWars were described as "unabashedly unhinged 'news' sites" in 2014 by The Washington Post following its promotion of conspiracy theories relating to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. [17][18]
bients.com Often spreading fake stories, often of political nature. [19]
bizstandardnews.com (defunct) Its stories have been mistaken as real-news then shared and cited as real-news. A disclaimer says the stories "could be true" because "reality is so strange nowadays". But the disclaimer also says it is "a satirical site designed to parody the 24-hour news cycle."[20]

Its name is similar to the unrelated Indian English-language daily newspaper called Business Standard.

[21][22][23][24][25][26]
Bloomberg.ma (defunct) Designed to imitate Bloomberg.com. Was used to issue a false report announcing that Twitter had received a USD $31 billion takeover offer, resulting in a brief 8% stock price spike of Twitter. The site is now defunct. [27][28]
The Boston Tribune Starting in February 2016, this website spread outright hoaxes. [29]
Breaking-CNN.com Responsible for publishing numerous death hoaxes, including one for former First Lady Barbara Bush one day after her announcement that she would halt all further medical treatment in 2018. Designed to emulate CNN. [30]
The Buffalo Chronicle Posts fake news, often Canadian (see: https://www.canadalandshow.com/the-buffalo-chronicle-is-not-reliable/)

In the last week of March, 2020, it posted an item concerning the fake news that NY Gov. Cuomo was planning to ban the sale of combustible cigarettes. (see: https://buffalochronicle.com/2020/03/31/big-tobacco-unleashes-the-dogs-on-cuomo-threatens-loss-of-state-senate-on-proposed-cigarette-ban/)

BVA News [31][32]
Celebtricity Has falsely claimed that Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Chicago, Illinois after more than 300 people were shot in one night; that a Wendy's employee put vaginal discharge on a burger as revenge against a partner; and that Bryshere Y. Gray was Jay-Z's son. Contains a "notorious fauxtire and satire entertainment" disclaimer which used to read "the most notorious urban satirical entertainment website in the world".[33] [34][33][35]
CBSnews.com.co Owned by Paul Horner. Mimics the URL, design and logo of CBS News.
cnn-trending.com Imitated CNN.com, complete with the CNN logo. Pushed the Hawking Code scam. Domain expired. [36][37]
Conservative 101 Falsely claimed that the White House fired Kellyanne Conway. [14][15]
Conservative Frontline Owned by Jestin Coler. [38]
CountyNewsroom.info The fake news website, registered to Tbilisi, Georgia, makes "a minimal attempt to look official" and is used to spread malware on readers' computers. [39]
Daily Buzz Live Website dedicated in bringing bizarre stories for the sole purpose of getting traffic to its website. [18]
Daily USA Update [40][41]
DC Gazette [18]
Denver Guardian Owned by Jestin Coler. [38]
Disclose TV [18][42]
DrudgeReport.com.co Owned by Jestin Coler (mimics the name of the Drudge Report). [38]
Empire Herald Starting in January 2016, this fake news site had spread many of its hoaxes online in just a few weeks. [29]
Empire News Many of this website's fake news hoaxes were widely shared on social media, with stories based on social or political controversies, or were simply appalling to readers. The site says that its content is for "entertainment purposes only."[43] [12][29]
Empire Sports Includes a disclaimer describing itself as a "satirical and entertainment website."[44] Not to be confused with the legitimate (but long-defunct) Empire Sports Network. [45]
Exposition Daily (not titled as such) Imitates Newsweek in form, appearance, layout and function. |[1]
Fox-news24.com Imitates Fox News. Site currently down. [46][47]
The Gateway Pundit A right-wing blog prone to publishing false stories, including a story involving an unsubstantiated claim that Special Counsel head Robert Mueller sexually assaulted someone. [48][49][50][51]
Global Associated News Described itself as enabling users to produce fake stories using its "fake celebrity news engine." [45]
Globalresearch.ca Principal website of the Centre for Research on Globalization, which The Economist in April 2017 called "a hub for conspiracy theories and fake stories," and NATO information warfare specialists in November 2017 linked to a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of mainstream Western media. [52][53]
Gossip Mill Mzansi A fake news website using Wordpress, targeting South African affairs. Its misinformation is spread on social media including Facebook and Twitter. [54][55]
Guerilla News [56][57]
Gummy Post Fake news website that has published claims about President Obama issuing a full pardon for convicted rapper C-Murder, musician Kodak Black getting shot outside a nightclub in Florida, and a Hulk Hogan death hoax. [58][59][60]
Houston Chronicle TV Not affiliated with the legitimate Houston Chronicle. [61][62][63]
Huzlers Fake news from this website often involves restaurants and leading brands to disgust readers with its gross-out stories. One story by the site falsely reported that Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Bird, killed himself. Another story made up an incident where a person working at a McDonald's restaurant put his mixtapes in Happy Meals. The site describes itself as "the most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world."[64] [29][45][65][66]
InfoWars Managed by Alex Jones. Has claimed that millions of people have voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, that the Boston Marathon bombing was a false flag attack, and that the Democratic Party was hosting a child sex slave ring out of a pizza restaurant. [18][67][68][69]

[70][71][72][73][74][75][76]

ΚΒΟΙ2.com
КВОІ2.com
Notable for its use of the IDN homograph attack, this fake news site used lookalike letters from other scripts (news coverage of the spoof did not specify which, though the examples listed demonstrate Greek and Cyrillic examples) to spoof the legitimate television station KBOI-TV's website in 2011. (The real KBOI site has since moved to a new domain, IdahoNews.com.) The sole purpose of the fake KBOI site was to spread an April Fool's Day joke regarding Justin Bieber being banned in the state. [77][78]
KMT 11 News Falsely reports celebrity appearances and filming locations in random local towns. Before the website went down, it referred to itself as a "fantasy news website".[79][80] [81][79][80][82]
The Last Line of Defense This website has a history of publishing fake news articles, especially of the political genre. Notable hoaxes include Donald Trump revoking the press credentials of six major news outlets, Michelle Obama getting ditched by the Secret Service, and Hillary Clinton describing Beyonce's music using racial slurs. Although the website claims to be written by "a group of educated, God-fearing Christian conservative patriots who are tired of Obama’s tyrannical reign and ready to see a strong Republican take the White House," its articles are in fact all written by one person, Christopher Blair, who has written under multiple pen names. As of 2019, Blair's site is now branded as "Daily World Update: satire for flat-Earthers, Trumpsters and Y'all-Qaeda." [83][84][85][86]
Law Enforcement Today Published fake news about police relations amid the George Floyd protests. [14][15]
Liberal Society Published a fake direct quote attributed to Obama, Falsely claimed that the White House fired Kellyanne Conway. [14][15]
Liberty Writers News Established in 2015 by Paris Wade and Ben Goldman, who told The Washington Post their stories focus on "violence and chaos and aggressive wording" to attract readers. The stories reflect the positions of supporters of Donald Trump. [87][88]
LinkBeef Fake news website that has published claims about the pilot of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 reappearing, a billionaire wanting to recruit 1,000 women to bear his children, and an Adam Sandler death hoax. [89][90][91]
Naha Daily This fake news website is now defunct, and was active in a span of five months with fake news articles, including a fake quote by Michael Kors. [29]
National Insider Politics [92][93]
NationalReport.net Founder Jestin Coler told Columbia Journalism Review: "When it comes to the fake stuff, you really want it to be red meat. [...] It doesn’t have to be offensive. It doesn’t have to be outrageous. It doesn’t have to be anything other than just giving them what they already wanted to hear." In 2013, the nonpartisan FactCheck.org deemed NationalReport.net a satirical site. The site's disclaimer states "All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental."[94] [12][38][29][95]
Natural News Formerly NewsTarget, a website for the sale of various dietary supplements, promotion of alternative medicine, controversial nutrition and health claims, and various conspiracy theories, such as "chemtrails", chemophobic claims (including the purported dangers of fluoride in drinking water, anti-perspirants, laundry detergent, monosodium glutamate, aspartame), and purported health problems caused by allegedly "toxic" ingredients in vaccines, including the now-discredited link to autism. [18][96][97][98][99]
NBCNews.com.co (Defunct) Owned by Paul Horner. Mimics the URL, design and logo of NBC News. [100]
News Breaks Here [101]
NewsBuzzDaily (defunct) This fake news website mostly consists of celebrity gossip and death hoaxes, but a few of its other stories were disseminated on social media. When the site was up it said that it was "a combination of real shocking news and satire news" and that articles were for "entertainment and satirical purposes" only.[29] [29]
News Examiner Started in 2015 by Paul Horner, the lead writer of the National Report. This website has been known to mix real news along with its fake news. [29]
News Hound [45]
The News Nerd A defunct website which used to have a disclaimer on every page.[102] [45]
NewsPunch (formerly known as YourNewsWire) Founded by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway in 2014. It has published fake stories, such as "claims that the Queen had threatened to abdicate if the UK voted against Brexit." Its name was changed to NewsPunch in 2018. [103][104][105][106][107][108][109]
NewsWatch33 Began in April 2015 under the name NewsWatch28, later becoming NewsWatch33. The website disguises itself as a local television outlet. It has also been known to mix real news along with its fake news in an attempt to circumvent Facebook’s crackdown on them. [29]
The New York Evening (TheNewYorkEvening.com) This fake news website has spread numerous false claims, including a fake story claiming that Malia Obama had been expelled from Harvard. [110]
Next News Network [111][112]
Now 8 News (Now8News.com) Started in 2015, this fake news website is also designed to look like a local television outlet. Several of the website's fake stories have successfully spread on social media. [29][113][114]
OpIndia OpIndia is an Indian website that has been rejected by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). Fact checkers certified by the IFCN have identified 25 fake news stories published by OpIndia between January 2018 and June 2020. [115][116]
Postcard News Postcard News is an Indian far-right propaganda and news website. In 2019, its founder, Mahesh Hegde, was arrested for a second time on charges of spreading fake news. [117][118]
The Predicted [19]
Prntly A politically conservative news site described by Snopes as "a disreputable outlet that has a penchant for publishing both fake news and spurious pro-Trump articles". [119][120]
React 365 This user-created fake news generator, supposedly for "pranking your friends", had at least two stories that went viral. [29]
Red Flag News (defunct) [18]
The Reporterz Starting in early 2016, this fake news website penned several different hoaxes, including one about a murder over a Twitter trend. [29]
Snoopack [121][122]
Spin Zone [123][42]
St George Gazette [124][125]
Stuppid This fake news purveyor specializes in articles with stories that are morally offensive. [29]
Super Station 95 Pirate radio station and corresponding website operated by Hal Turner. [126][127][128][129][130][131]
TrueTrumpers.com This fake news website makes "claims about President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama and Muslims, in particular, as well as click-baiting claims about porn stars and secret tricks for weight loss and whiter teeth." [132]
UConservative [133][134]
UndergroundNewsReport.com According to PolitiFact, "the site purposely writes outlandish stories to trick readers". Launched on February 21, 2017, the website gained more than 1 million page views in its first two weeks; in less than a month the site was sued by Whoopi Goldberg. [135][136]
United Media Publishing Owned by Jestin Coler. [38]
USA Daily Info [137][138]
usatoday.com.co (defunct) Falsely reports celebrity appearances and filming locations in random local towns [38]
US Postman [42][139]
washingtonpost.com.co Originally registered by Jestin Coler. The Washington Post submitted a complaint against Coler's registration of the site with GoDaddy under the UDRP, and in 2015, an arbitral panel ruled that Coler's registration of the domain name was a form of bad-faith cybersquatting (specifically, typosquatting), "through a website that competes with Complainant through the use of fake news. ... The fake news content misleads readers and serves as 'click bait' to drive readers to other sites, or to share the fake news content with others on social networking websites, to generate advertising revenue." [140][38]
World Truth TV Fake news website often using clickbait headlines to get traffic. [18]
World News Daily Report (worldnewsdailyreport.com)[disputed ] Run by Janick Murray-Hall. Its disclaimer states, "World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website—even those based on real people—are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle."[141] [142]

Philippine List

An extensive list of fake news websites operating out of the Philippines has been separated into its own article from the international list.

Fake news sites have become rampant for Philippine audiences, especially being shared on social media.[143] Politicians have started filing laws to combat fake news[144][145] and three Senate hearings have been held on the topic.[146][147][148]

The Catholic Church in the Philippines has also released a missive speaking out against it.[149]

Vera Files research at the end of 2017 and 2018 show that the most shared fake news in the Philippines appeared to benefit 2 people the most: President Rodrigo Duterte (as well as his allies) and politician Bongbong Marcos, with the most viral news driven by shares on networks of Facebook pages.[150] Most Philippine audience Facebook pages and groups spreading online disinformation also bear "Duterte", "Marcos" or "News" in their names and are pro-Duterte.[151] Online disinformation in the Philippines is overwhelmingly political as well, with most attacking groups or individuals critical of the Duterte administration.[152] Many Philippine-audience fake news websites also appear to be controlled by the same operators as they share common Google Adsense and Google Analytics IDs.[151]

According to media scholar Jonathan Corpus Ong, Duterte's presidential campaign is regarded as the patient zero in the current era of disinformation, having preceded widespread global coverage of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Russian trolls.[9] Fake news is so established and severe in the Philippines that Facebook's Global Politics and Government Outreach Director Katie Harbath also calls it "patient zero"[153] in the global misinformation epidemic, having happened before Brexit, the Trump nomination and the 2016 US Elections.[154]


See also

References

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