Fake news websites (also referred to as hoax news) deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation, using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Unlike news satire, fake news websites seek to mislead, rather than entertain, readers for financial or other gain.
Why should you care about whether or not your news is real or fake?
You deserve the truth. You are smart enough to make up your own mind - as long as you have the real facts in front of you.
Fake news destroys your credibility. If your arguments are built on bad information, it will be much more difficult for people to believe you in the future.
Fake news can hurt you, and other people. Purveyors of fake and misleading medical advice like Mercola.com and NaturalNews.com help perpetuate myths. These sites are heavily visited and their lies are dangerous.
Real news can benefit you. If you want to buy stock in a company, you want to read accurate articles about that company so you can invest wisely. If you are planning on voting in an election, you want to read as much good information on a candidate so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs.
Also, while it's not a direct link, the New York times has a "Fact Check of the Day" feature that analyzes a meme, tweet or other object and confirms or debunks it using reporting, fact finding and other tools. It's a fascinating look into the newsroom of the Times.