So I started compiling this list, and in the process of doing so, people were asking me if they could share it with another media person they knew just in academic circles. People were like “Oh, this could be a useful teaching tool.”
One of the main impetuses besides making it public on Facebook to share with other media scholars was someone telling me when you Google popular vote counts, the first Google News item that pops up is “70news.wordpress.com” which is a fake website saying that Hillary Clinton lost the popular vote. I was like, “Oh my gosh.”
And so at that point I started adding to it more, and it just took off. It wasn’t intended to be widely distributed. It was intended to be talked about in class or to have other media and communications teachers talking about it with their students.
But not all the sites on the list consist of entirely fake stories, right?
I think it’s really important to note that on this document I created, there’s four different kinds of sources, and so a lot of the problem, and why I’m actually personally considering removing the document temporarily, is because I don’t think people are actually reading it when they’re sharing it. And I’m worried that it might be perpetuating misinformation when that’s what it’s supposed to be trying to help.
Because that list identifies some fake news sites, some that may be misleading or unreliable that do report sometimes on actual events to various degrees to truthiness.
Then there are sites that generally do okay reporting on stuff, but they rely on clickbait-style Facebook descriptions or headlines to encourage circulation, so sometimes those headlines don’t match with the articles’ content, and that can lead to misinformation.
And then the last is just satirical websites that some people take literally. The idea there is that if you’re on The Onion and really mad about what you’re reading, maybe read some more, because this is a satirical website.
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...