News Sources to Avoid: Junk News Consumption over Social Media in the US

Important takeaway from this study:

These sources deliberately publish misleading, deceptive or incorrect information purporting to be real news about politics, economics or culture. This content includes various forms of propaganda and ideologically extreme, hyper-partisan, or conspiratorial news and information.

For a source to be labelled as junk news at least three of the following five characteristics must apply:

  • Professionalism: These outlets do not employ the standards and best practices of professional journalism. They refrain from providing clear information about real authors, editors, publishers and owners. They lack transparency, accountability, and do not publish corrections on debunked information.
  • Style: These outlets use emotionally driven language with emotive expressions, hyperbole, ad hominem attacks, misleading headlines, excessive capitalization, unsafe generalizations and fallacies, moving images, graphic pictures and mobilizing memes.
  • Credibility: These outlets rely on false information and conspiracy theories, which they often employ strategically. They report without consulting multiple sources and do not employ fact-checking methods. Their sources are often untrustworthy and their standards of news production lack credibility.
  • Bias: Reporting in these outlets is highly biased and ideologically skewed, which is otherwise described as hyper-partisan reporting. These outlets frequently present opinion and commentary essays as news.
  • Counterfeit: These outlets mimic professional news media. They counterfeit fonts, branding and stylistic content strategies. Commentary and junk content is stylistically disguised as news, with references to news agencies, and credible sources, and headlines written in a news tone, with bylines, date, time and location stamps.

List of Junk News Sources

100percentfedup.com

allenbwest.com

americanthinker.com

anonews.co

barenakedislam.com

beforeitsnews.com

bipartisanreport.com

bizpacreview.com

bredred.com

breitbart.com

campusreform.org

centerforsecuritypolicy.org

clintonemail.com

cnsnews.com

commonsenseconservative.org

concealncarry.stfi.re

conservativedailypost.com

conservativeoutfitters.com

conservativeread.com

conservativereview.com

conservativetribune.com

constitution.com

crooksandliars.com

dailycaller.com

dailynewsbin.com

dangerandplay.com

dcclothesline.com

deepstatenation.com

dennismichaellynch.com

donaldtrumpnews.co

drudgereport.com

endingthefed.com

eutimes.net

floppingaces.net

freebeacon.com

frontpagemag.com

gotnews.com

hannity.com

hotair.com

hotpagenews.com

infowars.com

inquisitr.com

joeforamerica.com

judicialwatch.org

lawnews.tv

lifenews.com

magafeed.com

mediaite.com

mobile.wnd.com

mostdamagingwikileaks.com

mrctv.org

nationalreview.com

naturalnews.com

newsbusters.org

newsmax.com

nydailynews.com

occupydemocrats.com

pamelageller.com

pastebin.com

patdollard.com

patriotpost.us

politopinion.com

puppetstringnews.com

rasmussenreports.com

redstate.com

redstatewatcher.com

scooprocket.com

shareblue.com

silenceisconsent.net

stateofthenation2012.com

theamericanfirst.com

theamericanmirror.com

theblacksphere.net

theconservativetreehouse.com

thefederalist.com

thefederalistpapers.org

thegatewaypundit.com

theodysseyonline.com

thepoliticalinsider.com

therealstrategy.com

therebel.media

truepundit.com

truthfeed.com

ukok.page.tl

usalibertynews.com

vaskal.ca

weaselzippers.us

westernjournalism.com

wnd.com

youngcons.com

yournewswire.com

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Summary of study along with links to supplemental information: 

Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption over Social Media in the US

Data Memo 2018.1 cover

What kinds of social media users read junk news? We examine the distribution of the most significant sources of junk news in the three months before President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address.

Drawing on a list of sources that consistently publish political news and information that is extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked commentary, fake news and other forms of junk news, we find that the distribution of such content is unevenly spread across the ideological spectrum. We demonstrate that (1) on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of known junk news sources and circulates more junk news than all the other groups put together; (2) on Facebook, extreme hard right pages—distinct from Republican pages—share the widest range of known junk news sources and circulate more junk news than all the other audiences put together; (3) on average, the audiences for junk news on Twitter share a wider range of known junk news sources than audiences on Facebook’s public pages.

Download here.

Online supplement (.pdf)

Seed list (.xlxs)

Vidya Narayanan, Vlad Barash, John Kelly, Bence Kollanyi, Lisa-Maria Neudert, and Philip N. Howard. “Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption over Social Media in the US.” Data Memo 2018.1. Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda. comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk

The Computational Propaganda Research Project (COMPROP) investigates the interaction of algorithms, automation and politics. This work includes analysis of how tools like social media bots are used to manipulate public opinion by amplifying or repressing political content, disinformation, hate speech, and junk news.

We use perspectives from organizational sociology, human computer interaction, communication, information science, and political science to interpret and analyze the evidence we are gathering. Our project is based at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

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