Last year, the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), through its pastoral letter released a list of reportedly fake news sites.
Many webmasters and bloggers whose sites were included reacted and said the CBCP’s list was not well-researched. Well, we tend to agree because one of our satire sites delivering humorous non-politically related website was included.
The list was used by several mainstream media as reference, and the damage it caused to legit sites that were included on the list was irreparable that we decided to shut down our own. Instead of helping, the CBCP’s lack of research actually created problem to legit bloggers.
In order to educate people, we provide our own list of fake websites and 100% of these are supporting President Rodrigo Duterte.
Some of these websites actually does not contain “fake news”, but the level of exaggeration on some of their contents is enough reason for us to declare them “destructive”.
We have no solid proof that these websites are officially commissioned by the Duterte government (keyboard army), but the way how these websites are operated and promoted on Facebook creates suspicion. We also discovered that many of these websites are operated by the same people.
Before going into our lists of fake news websites, let’s examine first some related facts why these websites exists and how can it affect our already unstable political system.
Why People Create Fake News
There are a number of reasons why people, especially bloggers create fake news and spreading it online, but we only explain the three most important reasons.
People create and spread fake news online because of money. Spreading fake news with the purpose to destroy someone’s political opponent through black propaganda is very effective, and that has been proven by both presidents – President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte have been accused of paying army of trolls to spread destructive information online against his political opponents. These so called “keyboard army” are paid and making money. Another way of making money for the website owners and bloggers is through viral traffic that leads to many advertising revenues. Fake news are always filled with controversy, and people love to read and spread controversial topics. Based on our own experiment from May 2016 to August 2017, running a fake news website is indeed a lucrative business.
People spread fake news online because of emotion. Many people are feed-up with the previous administration and as a form of revenge, they spread fake news. For example, one of our virtual assistants and content writers had her father murdered by New People’s Army when she was just seven years old. She said she can write unlimited fake news articles against the rebel group if she is given the chance to do so.
People spread fake news due to ignorance and gullibility, especially if the topic can make them laugh or criticize the person or a group they don’t like.
Technology is another big factor on the proliferation of fake news. Globe and Smart telecom’s “Facebook free data” is the main culprit because people who uses free data just believe on the headlines without reading the whole article. There are many deceiving news headlines and once someone is sold to just the headline, he has a serious problem. Both Globe and Smart should really stop providing people with free data.
Will Fake News Last Forever?
Fake news has been around for hundreds of years according to Wikipedia so expecting it to be gone soon is impossible. Legislators and lawmakers are finding it hard to craft a law against fake news as well for a number of reasons.
Although fake news will stay as long as there are gullible people who believes on it, fake news websites are come and go. Based on our own experiment, people are not returning to fake news websites after learning that it is indeed a fake news website. Another problem to maintain a fake news website is protecting your content. The copy-paste-scheme is rampant.
How to Spot Fake News
A person who is wide reader, resourceful, and knows how to use Google properly can easily spot a fake news, but here we will provide a simple guide on how to spot a fake news.
Website address. If you see that the source of the article is from the following domain or if its website address contains the following, you should raise an alarm. Altervista.org, blogspot.com, wordpress.com, .info, .xyz. These domains are free and are easy to manipulate. Fly by night bloggers use these domains to easily change from one site. Any news article published on these domains are fake, misleading, or exaggerated.
Too good to be true. If you see something that is hard to believe, visit google and search for that topic. If you cannot find at least one source from a reputable main stream media, just forget about that news.
Website full of ads and content is poorly written. If you see a long headline and found just a video when you click on it with a lot of advertisements, its fake.
Unbelievable claims or prediction. If you found yourself hard to believe on what you just read, it’s fake.
Reveals cure for major illness, or a solution to major problem. Same as number 4.
Websites with disclaimer are not reliable because they know they are offering unbelievable content and they are washing their hands before somebody got to file a complaint.
Polls with no other choice. A lot of Pro-Duterte polls provides no option but to like him. For example “Poll: Do you still support President Duterte? Say Yes If You Are”… There is no option other than “yes”.
The story can make you angry or react aggressively. Another purpose of fake news is to make people angry, or stimulate people’s emotion.
The following is the lists of the sites that promotes all of these non-sense and stupidity.
Other websites that are writing fake news but in humorous way are not include on this list. The above websites are the most notorious in promoting Rodrigo Duterte.
And before I forgot, Thinkingpinoy, although not 100% fake, is not excluded in this list as its promotes hate and bias articles.