Doubtful News’ “Beyond Doubtful” list of no-go-to sources

The purpose of Doubtful News is to expose questionable claims in stories you find on the internet. Mostly we deal with major news outlets because those are the stories that people will search on to find additional information. We get those searchers who then can see some science-based, rational takes on paranormal, anomalies and alternative subjects in the news.

The internet is awash in bad information. I’d say there is at least as much poor information as there is solid info, probably more because the solid information gets published in more permanent places. Anyhow, over the 2+ years we’ve been doing this site, we’ve figured out how to judge a bad source from a good one (in most cases).  So, we’ve compiled this list, with readers’ help, to remind you of sources that are BEYOND DOUBTFUL – just do not trust them and we don’t want any stories from them. And we’ve also listed further below miscellaneous sources for which you should definitely get a second reference.

The Beyond Doubtful List
Never send us stories from these sources:

  • Natural News (Mike Adams, “Health Ranger”)
  • Pat Robertson (700 Club)
  • Before It’s News
  • Info Wars / Prison Planet (Alex Jones)
  • Mercola.com (Joe Mercola)
  • CryptozoologyNews.com
  • News-hound
  • Topekasnews.com
  • The Canadian (agoracosmopolitan.com/new)
  • All News Web
  • World News Daily Report
  • World Net Daily (WND.com)
  • National Report
  • Empire News (empirenews.net)

There are thousands more sources that say they have “news” but it’s not news or trustworthy due to spin and bias. Sites that are backed by religious organizations, anti-abortion advocates, Creationists, climate change denialists or others with anti-science or pro-conspiracy agendas are obviously not reliable sources.

I can count the number of UFO and Bigfoot blogs that are worth reading on one hand. I can’t list all the unreliable ones. So play the odds, don’t trust any of them. Look for the story in major news outlets unless it has good evidence to back it up. We’ll be sure to let you know if any SOLID paranormal stories show up.

Don’t trust, but verify

Some sources have lots of pictures and high hit counts but their journalism is shaky and I’d rather not link to them. Tabloids, blogs and other aggregate sites may have a real story but I will dig back to an original source and link to that. That includes the ever-popular Huffington Post which is mostly blogs, not good journalism. Be careful passing on stories from them. If you see a piece on any of the following sources, always check for an alternate source by Googling keywords or looking for the original source within the story. If there ISN’T another source, it’s likely too ridiculous to consider and not even deserving of comment (though there are exceptions).

Check for another source if the story is from:

  • Daily Mail (U.K.)
  • The Sun (U.K.)
  • Examiner.com
  • Bubblews
  • European Union Times
  • RT.com
  • Siberian Times
  • Pravda.ru
  • Buzzfeed
  • Gawker network of sites
  • Mother Nature News
  • Epoch Times
  • The Blaze
  • Drudge Report

Satire sites

Most of us know The Onion is fake but there are a TON of satire and joke news sites that people think are real. Here is a handy-dandy list that includes other popular sites for joke news: The Daily Currant, The Lapine, National Report and more. Check it out if you are unsure about a potential satire site (I realize it’s sometimes hard to tell). You can also search the “about” page to see if it is a truthful or satire site. The disclaimer of some sort is usually listed. Please don’t send us satire pieces. We have enough REAL ridiculous news to cover. But, it is news when people fall for satire pieces as real. We’re all gullible, a little bit.

There is no way we could create a comprehensive list to help you navigate the worldwide web of misinformation but this is a start regarding the search for more solid sources. Of course, we are going to question even those solid sources if they are lacking in credibility. As you can tell by our non-lack of content, they often are.

Also use Web of Trust and check out SkepTools for more on debunking the bunk stories BEFORE you pass on the “bad” news.

  7 comments for “Doubtful News’ “Beyond Doubtful” list of no-go-to sources

  1. Stephanie
    April 2, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    I would like to add Upworthy to the ‘tabloid’ list. They are an aggrigator same as Buzzworthy, and I see them linked to a lot by facebook friends. Pretty much they’ll post anything for hits. I just don’t even want to support sites like that with a click.

    But as you say, there are so many of those you could never name them all. But they are one I have been seeing a LOT lately.

    • Ooochi
      April 12, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      They have definitely posted psuedoscience in the past.

  2. John
    April 2, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    You guys are awesome!
    Thank you for keeping the interwebs grounded and ‘real’ If only the world was full of rational, level headed people like yourself Sharon! (and the collective DN posters)

    you will no doubt get dozens of additions in this thread from morons Like myself..
    http://www.ipa.org.au/ Don’t ever read any of their rubbish ‘news’
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/ Could be added to “check for another source”

  3. RandyRandy
    April 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Thank you, Sharon and DN staff. This is really helpful. Good tips, too!

  4. Celeste
    April 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    There are sooo many Fearmongers out there! Some days, I get inundated with so much “Bad News”, “Conspiracy Theory”, etc. Stories/Data on Facebook, email, Google+ that it seems like they want you to be in fear and at effect and a lot less causative than you were before. The Stories/Data never have a solution to the situation/what’s being done to handle it either. It is meant to overwhelm you. Overwhelmed people are at effect and therefore not able to handle much. Maybe that’s what they’re aim is. Anyway…It was great to find your Website today. True/Correct data is what’s needed and not the voluminous junk that out there right now. Thanks for being here and getting the real data out there.

  5. Geoff
    April 3, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    I went to check out both ‘Web of Trust’ and ‘SkepTools’ which were suggested tools for debunking bunk stories. I thought it interesting to find a posted linked to ‘The Daily Sheeple’ off of the ‘Web of Trust’ Facebook page. Really?

  6. Bill T.
    May 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    I have found drivel posted verbatim in multiple sites, apparently plagiarized and/or shared between the sites. Trivially easy to spread bad info, it takes work to separate the good from the bad.

Comments are closed.