Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time

Studies and tools using lists

Researchers rely on existling lists of unreliable-news sites for their studies. But these lists are often out-of-date and incomplete, so their research may lead to flawed conclusions.

Here's how that error could easily happen: Two frequently used lists are PolitiFact's Fake News Almanac and OpenSources. Both haven't been updated since 2017. Say you used these lists to compare social media shares from fake-news site articles in 2016 with those in 2018. You count twice the shares in 2016 as in 2018, You then might conclude 2018 had half as much fake-news sharing as 2016. You'd probably be wrong.

More likely the number of shares stayed steady. Half the sites listed in 2016 were gone in 2018. So you'd expect to see about half the shares in 2018 as 2016 if sharing remained the same, (all other factors being equal — which, of course, they're not.) Your conclusion would have made things look good, when, if fact, there as miserable as ever.

Recent studies, brower extensions, and tools that relying on fake-news lists:


Misinformation in action: fake news exposure is linked to lower trust in media, higher trust in government when your side is in power (BF, FC, PF; 2020-06)
(Uses: "list of domains categorized as fake news by Grinberg and colleagues (2019)" —see )

Why Do People Share Ideologically Extreme, False, and Misleading Content on Social Media? A Self-Report and Trace Data–Based Analysis of Countermedia Content Dissemination on Facebook and Twitter (FNW, OS; 2020-05)
(Uses: ", Aloisius, CBS News, The Daily Dot, Fake News Watch, Fake News Checker, Melissa Zimdars, NPR, Snopes Field Guide, The New Republic, and U.S. News and World Report"; 106 "countermedia" xdomains in Appendix A)

Political audience diversity and news quality (NG; 2020-02)

The Quarter Billion Dollar Question: How is Disinformation Gaming Ad Tech? (OS, PF; 2019-09)
(Uses: "Storyful, PolitiFact, Le Monde, Open Brand Safety, OpenSources and NewsTracker")

Iffy Quotient: A Platform Health Metric for Misinformation (MBFC, NG; 2019-07)

Detecting Fake News on Social Media (BF, OS; 2019-06)
Software and datasets

Fighting misinformation on social media using crowdsourced judgments of news source quality (BF, OS, PF; 2019-02 )

Less than you think: Prevalence and predictors of fake news dissemination on Facebook (BF, OS; 2019-01 )

Fighting misinformation on social media using crowdsourced judgments of news source quality (BF, OS, PF, SN; 2019-01)

Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election (BF, FC, PF; 2019-01)
(Developed fake-news list used by other reseachers, cited as "Grinberg…")

Less than you think: Prevalence and predictors of fake news dissemination on Facebook (BF, OS; 2019-01)

Fake News and Advertising on Social Media: A Study of the Anti-Vaccination Movement (HXY; 2018-11)

Disinformation, ‘Fake News’ and Influence Campaigns on Twitter (OS, MBFC; 2018-10)

Iffy Quotient: A Platform Health Metric for Misinformation (OS, MBFC; 2018-10)

Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media (PF, OS, BF, FC, SN; 2018-10)

A Large-scale Study of Social Media Sources in News Articles (IIB, OS, WI; 2018-10)

Predicting Factuality of Reporting and Bias of News Media Sources (MBFC; 2018-10)

NewsWhip: Partisan Publishers & Political Content (PF 2018-09)

The spread of low-credibility content by social bots (PF 2018-05)

CJR/Tow Ctr coverage of studies (that use uotdated fake-news site datasets):

Browser extensions

B.S. Detector (OS)

Fake News Alert (OS)

Slate (2016, now gone; list: uses their own db: "We rely on crowdsourcing and human moderation by Slate staffers and contributors, who will manage a database of flagged sites and links.")

Fake News Detector (list: ?)

Newstrition (list: Freedom Forum Institute and Our.News)

Facebook is patenting a tool that could help automate removal of fake news

Check This by MetaCert (MC)
MetaCert Protocol

Trusted News for Google Chrome (MC)

NewsGuard (propritary, NG)

Official Media Bias Fact Check Icon (MBFC)

Read Across The Aisle (rates bias not fake)


Junk News Aggregator (list: their own)
Junk News Classification
(Computational Propaganda group (COMPROP) of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) at the University of Oxford)


Key to lists:

  • BuzzFeed (BF)
  • Fake News Codex (FNC)
  • (FC)
  • Hoaxy (HXY)
  • Information is Beautiful (IIB)
  • Is It Fake News? (IIFN)
  • Media Bias / Fact Check (MBFC)
  • MetaCert (MC)
  • NewsGuard (NG)
  • (OS)
  • PolitiFact (PF)
  • Snopes (SN)
  • Wikipedia (WI)

Details at: Fake and Unreliable News Sites