Founded in 2009, Before It’s News is a citizen journalism website where stories are provided by individuals without credentials. Stories can range from moderately credible to tin-foil hat conspiracies. According to their about page “As we were following the 2008 election, we noticed something very interesting — bloggers covered many of the breaking stories days before the alphabet soup news outlets (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, AP, MSNBC, FOX, etc.). Important facts were omitted or ignored by the mainstream media mainly because these facts inconveniently do not fit into the memes these outlets routinely promote. In other words, there is a strong bias amongst most corporate media outlets.”
Funded by / Ownership
Before It’s News does not reveal ownership on the website. Revenue is derived from advertising and sponsored content.
Analysis / Bias
In review, anyone can publish news on this website which has resulted in it becoming a haven for conspiracy theorists and pseudo-scientists. Although Before It’s News proclaims to vet articles for factual accuracy, it seems they actually choose to publish the opposite. For example, they promote anti-vaccination propaganda, chemtrails, false flags, anti-climate change info, and the right-wing Clinton Body count conspiracies. In general, Before It’s News is one of the most discredited sources on the internet that promotes pseudoscience and right-wing conspiracy theories. They are also on Politifact’s fake news list. Finally, during the Coronavirus outbreak, they frequently promoted false and misleading information.
Failed Fact Checks (shortlist of dozens)
- No, George Soros was not arrested in Switzerland in February 2019. – Pants on Fire
- Is the newly elected mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, a Muslim and did he cancel “government involvement” in Christmas? – False
- “The Government has released their initial plans to force a vaccine on everyone”; “Three potential vaccines are currently in Stage 3 trials in the United States and could be ready in weeks” – Inaccurate
- Gates Foundation stands to make nearly £31.5 billion on a coronavirus vaccine in U.K. – False
- Wisconsin counted 3,239,920 votes but only has 3,129,000 registered voters. – False
Overall, we rate Before It’s News Questionable based on the promotion of pseudoscience and right-wing conspiracy theories as well as poor sourcing, a lack of transparency, and the routine publication of fake news. (7/20/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 11/06/2020)