For this guide "Fake News" arises from two purposes: to misinform the public or as "click-bait" to earn money for a website/publisher. "Fake News" is typically not a satire site, such as the Onion, which uses humorous or outrageous stories to comment on society.
Sources may have numerous reasons why they would want to misinform the public. They may be trying to discredit certain individuals or ideologies, or they may be trying to gain support for certain ideologies or world views. These sites play on people's emotions to sway them with arguments that build on fear, anxiety, or anger.
Sources interested in creating "click-bait" do not care about the political or social ideologies at the basis of their stories and articles. They are only interested in grabbing individuals' attentions. They use outrageous claims (similar to supermarket tabloids) to bring as many views to a site as possible, and make money via advertising.
For both goals to be successful, content creators need to gain the trust, and have become very clever at masquerading as reputable news sources, and so it can be very difficult to tell the reliable news sources from distrustful ones.
This guide is created to instruct you, the news consumer, and to give you the tools to be a skeptical and informed information consumer.
Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean that is true. Here are some strategies for "checking twice."
Below are some Fact Checking websites to help you decide whether an article is reliable.