A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate Viral Cocaine Questionable due to a lack of transparency, poor sourcing, promotion of conspiracy theories, deceptive labeling of news and failed fact checks.
Reasoning: Lack of Transparency, Poor Sourcing, Conspiracy, Fake News
Founded in 2016, Viral Cocaine is hybrid news and satire website. The website features a tagline that reads “when the lie is more entertaining.” They do not have a stand alone about page, however at the bottom of each page is a disclaimer that reads “viralcocaine.com is a satirical news blog about everything hip hop, celebrities and urban folklore, because who wants to hear the truth when a lie is more entertaining.”
The website lacks transparency as they do not disclose ownership, name authors or accurately describe the website.
Funded by / Ownership
Viral Cocaine does not disclose ownership, however according an investigation by Buzzfeed News, Viral Cocaine is part of much larger network of fake news websites. Revenue is derived through advertising.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Viral Cocaine publishes a combination of real news usually related to entertainment and satirical news. Satire is appropriately labeled on the article, however the website is very deceiving as it nearly impossible to reach the disclaimer at the bottom of the page that states they are satire. Another issue is the so called real news published on the website often is hyper-sensationalized or simply conspiracy related such as this about 5G: Map shows the cities where deadly 5G cell towers are being rolled out. This article is not satire and is sourced to the conspiracy website All News Pipeline. Content labeled as satire is often very clearly satire such as this: BREAKING! Ebola Victim Rises From The Dead In Africa Fear Of Zombie Apocalypse. As of today this story has been viewed 3.8 million times and shared 1.4 million times. However, some news is clearly fake and is not labeled as satire such as this: NYC Man Drops Dead In Middle Of Street – Suspected Coronavirus! [VIDEO]. This is a hoax.
Editorially, Viral Cocaine does not take political positions. In general, this source is deceptive in that it is very difficult to separate real and fake news. Further, they promote conspiracies and utilize poor sources.
Failed Fact Checks
- Did rapper 50 Cent buy Murder Inc. Records thereby owning all of his rival Ja Rule’s music publishing rights? – False
- Did a man wearing a mask – and suspected to have coronavirus – drop dead on a street in Queens, New York? – False
Overall, we rate Viral Cocaine Questionable due to a lack of transparency, poor sourcing, promotion of conspiracy theories, deceptive labeling of news and failed fact checks. (D. Van Zandt 4/10/2020)