Take the following two examples from the alt. health community: David 'Avocado' Wolfe  and Dr. Joseph Mercola . The former is a self proclaimed health guru with no medical degree yet he makes all kind of (dangerous) health claims. The latter's similar tho he does have a degree. The latter's article is on a website called Quackwatch. If Quackwatch is credible (I didn't verify) it could be interesting to hook into them, perhaps via an API.
Funny enough when I searched for these two (I used DDG, YMMV) in combination with the term fake news I found articles where they comment about other (supposed) fake news. For example, in one article they claimed in the headline CNN distributed fake news. I don't know if that's deliberate, but at least from a SEO PoV it seems clever of them.
Another interesting question is, could -in a future- whitelisting be a better default modus operandi than blacklisting?
As long as it remains an assumption that these are 'independent' non-partisan fact-checking organizations, I would discard any conclusions drawn here.
Also Breitbart is highly editorialized news and commentary, but it's certainly not fake. The fact that its CEO strategized the largest political upset in recent history is very, very real.
> At issue is the publication of news that is false or misleading.
Initially in the election, "fake news" was a term primarily used to refer to stories and sites that were complete fabrications, created to make money from ads and for political ends. Use of the term quickly expanded to include more long-standing practitioners of distortion, like Breitbart.
The whole point of this article is that "fake news" can have real consequences so the supposed successes of Steve Bannon has nothing to do with the veracity of the publications headlines and stories.
Here's just one example of a fake Breitbart headline:
>Condemned as "fake news" by some media pundits, the Breitbart article was headlined: “Revealed: 1,000-man mob attack police, set Germany’s oldest church alight on New Year’s Eve.” However, according to local journalists, there was no mob and the St Reinold Church – which is not Germany’s oldest – did not catch fire. Local police said the night was “rather average to quiet” and the number of incidents in Dortmund on New Year’s Eve had decreased to 185, down from 421 in 2015/16. The brief fire on scaffold netting near the church was reportedly caused accidently by a wayward firework.
But it starts to get a bit confusing when you actually look at the accusations and rebuttals, especially when you look at the fleshed out indy article 
Accusation : "The right-wing American website, which enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence in 2016, claimed a 1,000-strong mob chanting “Allahu Akbar” set fire to the country’s oldest church in Dortmund."
Rebuttal :"Mr Bandermann on the other hand, in a Q&A-style response published the following day, said that from between 6.45pm and 1.30am, groups of young foreign men formed a large group of 1,000 people.
He said the fire at the church only set light to netting surrounding the building and lasted just 12 minutes."
"He said that saying Allahu Akbar is as normal as saying ‘Amen’ in church,"
So which is fake news? On the facts, the Independent agrees (although through semantics "church netting on fire, not the church" "group" not "mob") with the Breitbart article.
If they both agree on the facts, but spin them different ways, how do you determine which is "fake news"?
edit: They did actually issue a correction for something they got wrong in the article
"Correction: This article states St. Reinold’s Church is the oldest in Germany. We are happy to clarify that accolade belongs to the Trier Cathedral."
>They've literally _never_ accidentally reported in a direction that was opposite their editorial spin.
You won't find any news outlet who will err two ways.
My point is that conflating Breitbart with The Onion for sake of studying propaganda trends is extremely sloppy. I not trying to be an apologist for Breitbart which is pretty blatantly right-wing propaganda and has been forced to retract stories in the past.
The PropOrNot scandal was a disaster, but its victims remain blissfully unaware.
The difference is that responsible organizations wind up firing people who cross the line.
For that matter, nor can I think of any outlet in modern days which would both a) report that information were they to find it and b) not be immediately and loudly labeled partisan by a significant portion of the internet.
Traditional editorials like, say, in the National Review or NYT, may well be wrong, but at least they're trying to be right. Likewise, the "independence" of fact-checking orgs doesn't lie in being "non-partisan" so much as making speaking truly an overriding value.
(I'd concede that Breitbart in particular probably isn't a paradigm example of a fake news outlet, but it's obviously on the spectrum.)
There's 2 elements to this study, one which is determining what is "fake news" and the other is "how do bots influence social media engagement?".
The latter is important to study but how do we judge the organizations singled out in this study without a baseline of "real news" (for lack of better word) to compare them to?
That "spirit cooking" story was a great example of a totally absurd sequence of decisions designed to create a talking point which was subsequently promoted, so it's a good point.
But the article's point is that if we start making it very hard to have fake users, suddenly these games of signal boosting become massively harder.
I agree with this point and think that the cost/benefit analysis of allowing bot users on social media sites should be re-evaluated.
The fuzzy term 'fake news' is fraught with problems. We've been lied to so many times in the western world via 'official' sources many people simply don't trust the mainstream media any more. Apparently more people were watching Yogi Bear reruns than CNN in the US a few weeks ago during prime time.
The joy of the internet is our ability to consume information from a wide variety of sources, triangulate across many ideas, reporting and opinions to make up our own minds. The old model of having a small number of 'news outlets', such as the four commercial TV channels and one main 'news' broadcast a night that worked so well during the Vietnam war era is long gone.
There seems to be a hankering for regulated, rubber stamped 'news' and credibility checks, which I think is profoundly undemocratic and against the principles of free speech.
lol fake news much? You got that from Sean Hannity's tweets. Cable news are reporting huge viewership
Sean Hannity's tweets - along with any other TV bobble head of either political persuasion - are not something I ever pay attention too.
I try and read a cross section of perspectives across the political spectrum and draw my own conclusions from that...
Reading multiple sources doesn't matter if they're all trash, you'll read multiple biased accounts and then agree with the one conforming to your own bias. I don't read "rubber stamped information," I read things that can source their data and check the sources to make sure they aren't lying to me.
Your link's only source is another article that links to themselves multiple times before providing any source, a bad sign, then the source is provided without context. It basically says "lower on this list is worse therefore CNN sucks."
If you've heard about yellow journalism as well as Project Mockingbird, then you can appreciate the fact that news is a tool to entertain and manufacture consent and occasionally inform. All of it lies on a spectrum between fake and not fake. Even The Onion which is intentionally satirical, typically has a nugget of truth in each of his stories, which is why it's good satire.
If you're not already convinced how ridiculous this term is, consider for a moment: How do you prove if a certain publication is "fake news" or not? If a "not fake news" mainstream news source publishes a single story which is later corrected or retracted, is the entire publication forever labeled "fake news" or is a certain amount of fake stories required for a publication as a whole to be considered fake?
In practice, sure. That can happen. But we tend to universally awknowledge that it dilutes the intent of democracy, which is to keep a government honest to the people it governs. It seems like, given the astronomical differences in wealth between individuals in this world, this is precisely the kind of thing where one person can use resources to dilute the power of many individuals.
There are no multiple-bullet itemized criteria on what makes "Fake News" in the whitepaper.
Some of the listed websites makes uses of only links to other websites, also of dubious nature. Perhaps, that's the criteria.
I see this being repeated often, but very little evidence behind it.