I use a combination of the following to classify each domain's credibility by checking every Insight against our database before I accept them to our service:
- Fake News (tag fake) Sources that entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports
- Satire (tag satire) Sources that use humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule, and false information to comment on current events.
- Extreme Bias (tag bias) Sources that come from a particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts.
- Conspiracy Theory (tag conspiracy): Sources that are well-known promoters of kooky conspiracy theories.
- Rumor Mill (tag rumor) Sources that traffic in rumors, gossip, innuendo, and unverified claims.
- State News (tag state) Sources in repressive states operating under government sanction.
- Junk Science (tag junksci) Sources that promote pseudoscience, metaphysics, naturalistic fallacies, and other scientifically dubious claims.
- Hate News (tag hate) Sources that actively promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination.
- Clickbait (tag clickbait) Sources that provide generally credible content, but use exaggerated, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images.
- Proceed With Caution (tag unreliable) Sources that may be reliable but whose contents require further verification.
- Political (tag political) Sources that provide generally verifiable information in support of certain points of view or political orientations.
- Biased: (tag prejudiced) Sources that that take an unfair line.
- Influenced:(tag controlled) Sources that are under the influence of third parties.
- Lobbyist: (tag persuader) Sources that make a direct attempt to influence governments.
- Criticized: (tag condemned ) Sources experiencing disapproval from society or lawmakers
- Questioned:(tag suspected) Sources questioned by lawmakers
- Censured: (tag reprimanded ) Sources blamed by lawmakers
- Credible (tag reliable) Sources that circulate news and information in a manner consistent with traditional and ethical practices in journalism (Remember: even credible sources sometimes rely on clickbait-style headlines or occasionally make mistakes. No news organization is perfect, which is why a healthy news diet consists of multiple sources of information).
I never accept Fake News, Satire, Extreme Sources, Junk Science or Hate News, etc. I flag items I do accept where some doubt exists as to the veracity of the claim e.g. Conspiracy Theory or Rumor Mill; they can often be proved correct.
So far, ~750 dodgy domains have been flagged on the system as not suitable for inclusion in our service.
The process is not perfect, The only real way to guard against Fake News is to be as well informed as you can be, for you to exercise healthy skepticism, check my work and triangulate reports that seem to imply a change of direction before you decide the truth as it appears to you and your associates. But, you can help me, your associates, our members, clients by reporting a source that you consider dodgy. Please use the form below. Thank you in anticipation, Athena.
Acknowledgment: We wish to thank Melissa Zimdars at Merrimack University for her excellent work at OpenSources, the forerunner of this service.