New Chart Tries To Break Down Real And Fake News Outlets — How'd It Do?

An Imgur user created this chart as a guide to the media you're consuming.

In the era of the Internet, online news continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

This year, news surrounding the 2016 presidential election came under intense scrutiny. Mainstream, legacy news outlets like CNN got blasted for allegedly having bias towards Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while fringe independent outlets like Infowars were criticized for perpetrating conspiracy theories and hoaxes.

Many Americans are now calling any news that doesn't reaffirm their political views "fake news." But in reality, there is a lot of actual fake news on the Internet: as in, news that is demonstrably untrue. One example, and a story that was shared wildly on social media, was headlined "Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for president." News like this is easy to debunk, so long as you take the time to poke around.

When fake news like this came under fire by legacy media organizations, newer, independent outlets like Breitbart responded with headlines like "12 Fake News Stories From The Mainstream Media," including dated examples like Janet Cooke's now-infamous story about an 8-year heroin addict — who didn't exist — that won her a Pulitzer almost 40 years ago.

Since this outbreak and response to fake news, a lot of people have been trying to parse what's real and what isn't, as well as what's biased and what isn't. One Imgur user gave it his best shot with the graph below:


Certainly, some people will object to this chart. In addition to acknowledging CNN's tendency to be sensational, many Trump supporters would argue it also has a liberal bias, which isn't reflected in the graph. Others might claim that Infowars — known for spreading conspiracy theories — is not the same as Breitbart, which, despite being a far-right outlet, has a stronger history of contorting facts or posting clickbait than spreading outright conspiracies.

In 2015, A Plus put together a list of 5 ways to prevent being fooled by news on the Internet. Now more than ever, it seems those steps are relevant. You can give it a read and a share here. 

Cover image via eakkachai halang / Shutterstock.


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