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 fringe subjects in the news.
The internet is awash with biased information, misinformation and completely fake news sites (“newz”) that look credible. Over the 5+ years that we’ve been doing this site, we’ve figured out how to judge a poor source from a good one (in most cases). So, we’ve compiled this list to remind you of sources that are BEYOND DOUBTFUL – they should not be trusted and you should not send us or share stories from them. And we’ve also listed further below miscellaneous sources for which you should be suspicious and get a second reference.
The Beyond Doubtful List (completely unreliable sources)
Never send us stories from or link to these sources:
- Natural News (Mike Adams, “Health Ranger”)
- Before It’s News
- Info Wars / Prison Planet (Alex Jones)
- Mercola.com (Joe Mercola)
- The Canadian (agoracosmopolitan.com/new)
- World News Daily Report
- World Net Daily (WND.com)
- Empire News (empirenews.net)
There are thousands of 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.
Don’t just trust. 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 in 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 a more reputable source if the story is from the following clickbait, mystery-mongering or pseudoscientific sites:
- Daily Mail (U.K.)
- The Sun (U.K.)
- The Mirror (U.K.)
- European Union Times
- Siberian Times
- Mother Nature News
- Epoch Times
- The Blaze
- Drudge Report
- IFLS (I Fucking Love Science)
- Ancient Origins
- Mysterious Universe
- Signs of the Times (sott.net)
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.
Check out SkepTools for more on debunking the bunk stories BEFORE you pass on the “bad” news.