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Don't Be Fooled! A Guide to Fake News Websites

David Emery

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FW:  Feb. 5, 2016

Updated October 25, 2015.



Introduction: Satire is a venerable form of social commentary using humor to ridicule human vices and follies. The Internet is rife with it, especially news satire, or fake news, consisting of fictionalized accounts of current events presented in mock-journalistic style to lampoon politicians, celebrities, and social mores.

Satire is only effective if people recognize it as such, however, and therein lies a major pitfall of propagating fake news on the Internet. Users tend to skim texts instead of reading them, missing important clues and disclaimers. The mechanics of social sharing obscure the origin and aim of viral content, increasing the likelihood that fiction will be mistaken for, or purposely misrepresented as, fact.

Below you will find a checklist of the most popular fake news sites on the web. Share as needed!

The Borowitz Report

Andy Borowitz is a genuinely funny humorist and best-selling author whose satirical news column, The Borowitz Report, debuted in 2001 and is currently hosted by Most of his columns are literally too hilarious to be believed, yet some people insist on doing so. More »



Call The Cops

Call The Cops bills itself as "America's 27th most trusted source for public safety news." Articles satirize law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical work. "Stories posted here are not real and you should not assume them to have any basis in any real fact," states the site disclaimer. "Heck we tend to leave in spelling and grammer errors just to prove we is not the professional media." More »



The Daily Currant

About The Daily Currant:

Q. Are your news stories real?

A. No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world. More »



This spin-off of the Empire Sports website (see next entry below) brings a similar warped sensibility and star-struck emphasis to general "news" of the day. Empire News describes itself as a "satirical and entertainment website." Don't believe anything you read there. More »



Empire Sports

This site specializes in lampooning sports and sports celebrities. It originally carried no satire disclaimer per se, but the phrase "News Satire" was visible on the top navigation bar of every page. With headlines like "Dog Killing Debuts As New Sport In 2014 Winter Olympics," there's no mistaking this site's content for actual news. More »



Free Wood Post

Free Wood Post offers social and political spoofs from a liberal point of view, mercilessly skewering right-wing politics and politicians, as well as the occasional out-of-control sports figure or self-indulgent Hollywood celebrity. From its disclaimer page: "Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental." More »



Global Associated News (

This site isn't really satirical, nor is it particularly funny. Fake news stories with a Global Associated News masthead are generated by ordinary folks via the prank website Fill in a celebrity's name, and out pops a boilerplate article claiming he or she was maimed or killed in some horrific accident. Strange as it seems, these hoaxes consistently fool people. A lot of people. More »




"About Us: is a combination of real shocking news and satire news to keep its visitors in a state of disbelief." (If that statement makes sense to you, there's a chance you'll actually find this fake news site funny and entertaining. Otherwise, I doubt it.) I have yet to see anything that qualifies as "real news" anywhere on the site. More »



The Lapine

This Canada-centric site also lampoons U.S. and world events, and, truth be told, just about everything else that can possibly be made fun of. "The Lapine is all about poking people and things that deserve to be poked," reads the site's self-description. A recent article was entitled "Top 3 Cuss Words on Twitter." Not biting social commentary, exactly, but often entertaining. More »




This site credits itself with doing "media criticism through satire," though its articles are neither pithy nor funny. To date, MediaMass remains best known for running boilerplate stories pre-emptively dismissing celebrity death reports as hoaxes, even when those reports have been accurate. This is the very opposite of a reliable source. More »