When it comes to the internet it’s sometimes quite hard to trust or believe what you’re reading and we’d guess that everyone reading this has a particular site that they’d trust over all others. We’re not here to talk about those, we’re here to introduce you to 10 places online that are actually pretty damn solid when it comes to reporting the truth in a fair and balanced way. We’re not saying these places are infallible, we’re just saying that it’s a little odd that you can probably trust anything you see reported by.
10. The Rock
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a 6 ft 4 slab of chiseled beef. The guy is so tough we wouldn’t be surprised if the guy needs to get his tattoos from samurai armed with felt tip pens. But along with being an example of what humanity could become if it accepted an all protein diet, The Rock is also someone you can trust to report the news. And not only because he’s the owner of a smile that can turn YouTube comments into honey.
We base this on one, singular fact. The Rock was one of the first people on Earth to report the death of Osama Bin Laden. Seriously, after Bin Laden had his make-out session with the barrel of a gun, there were probably a handful of people on Earth privy to the information that one of the world’s most hated men had been killed. The Rock was one of those people.
No one is quite sure how he knew or who told him, but the fact that he knew in the first place means one of two things. Either The Rock has friends in ridiculously high places or he personally tracked down and killed Bin Laden with his bare hands. Either way, how can you not trust this man now?
9. The Christian Science Monitor
If you’re a Christian, we’re sorry for what we’re about to say. But the internet at large doesn’t really trust you when it comes to the issue of science. Even though the CSM reports global news, the fact it has both the words “Christian” and “Science” in its name doesn’t bode well for it. Religion and science have a temperamental relationship at best, putting the two words next to each other and giving it a comment section is just a bad idea.
However, despite the CSM being owned by a church, it’s one of the most trusted sources of news on the web. We’re not making that up, according to Newstrust, a site that ranks websites on how accurate and fair their reporting is, the CSM scores 3.6 out 5. If you think that’s low, just bare in mind that the BBC has a score of 3.5 out of 5, not to mention that the CSM has some of the highest scores in terms of “credibility” and “fairness” on the entire web.
The CSM has also earned a huge slew of awards for reporting which you can find here. Again, we’re not saying that you have to trust this site implicitly, but isn’t it nice to know that a site owned by a church uses its vast reach and power to report fairly. The ball is in your court, Fox.
8. Know Your Meme
Memes are the ultimate representation of what humanity is going to become with the advent of ubiquitous internet access. Short, repackaged jokes and sayings we’ve all heard a million times before, but pretend not to have to avoid the realization that we’re slowly wasting what little time on this planet we have left. So surely KYM, a site that catalogues them all is going to be god awful, right?
Well actually, no. Along with cataloguing memes, KYM also catalogues everything of any note that has ever happened online ever. Usually better than other sites do, why? Because KYM is edited and contributed to by hundreds, if not thousands of people with reach that extends to the darkest corners of the internet itself (4Chan).
For example, this page on the Boston Bombings, not only gives a broad overview of the tragedy, but it also links to everything that was said about it online, along with featuring search trends and screenshots and Google caches of stuff you wouldn’t find elsewhere, like Reddit and 4Chan threads. But the site goes much deeper than just reporting facts from elsewhere, it actually makes a conscious effort to discover where they came from in the first place. In the case of the Boston bombings, it actually tells you where key photos of the event came from, in lieu of doing what other news sources did which was feature them without asking and attributing them to “somewhere online”.
However, the comment section of the website is likely one of the worst you’ll see online, in the aforementioned Boston bombing page, the top comment is “That marathon was a blast”. Because hey, you can’t have people taking the site too seriously.
7. The Drudge Report
With a name like The Drudge Report, you can’t really have high hopes for this one. Though the site was named after its founder who happened to have the last name “Drudge”. It has fallen into disrepute in some circles due to the fact it publishes stories that aren’t exactly true and it having political leanings, you know, like every sources of news ever.
However, due to the site not really having anyone higher up to answer to, it allows it to publish stories other sites wouldn’t. The most famous example is probably the Monica Lewinsky scandal that rocked the White House a few years ago. Most major news sites were hesitant to even touch the story, The Drudge Report on the other hand had no such qualms, and thus became the first source online with the balls to call out the president. Which is frankly, something you have to at least admire.
Oh Wikipedia, we love you. Though it is without a doubt the finest place online to read, and it is literally the first port of call when it comes to researching absolutely anything. We can guarantee that everyone reading this has had a teacher tell them that Wikipedia isn’t a valid source.
We at Toptenz are happy to tell you to screw that noise. Wikipedia is as accurate if not more so, in terms of errors, than the Encyclopedia Britannica. And the next time a teacher tells you that Wikipedia isn’t a valid source, just tell them that you can cite Wikipedia in court. Then remind them that since Wikipedia is editable, you could easily paint them as a jewel thief and have them arrested before they could correct it on their smartphone.
Cracked.com is the source of almost every fact on TIL and is one of the most popular comedy websites on the web today. However, this popularity has seen them criticized of lack of accuracy in their articles. Just read the comment section of any article ever published there. Of course no website is every going to be perfectly accurate, but a significant amount of flak is aimed at Cracked to the point even TV Tropes has taken a pop at them. And could you really blame them, the amount of swear words on that site would make an Irishman blush, swearing and facts don’t really go to together.
The thing is, Cracked has a very open policy and take it from someone who has been published there. Everything you see on the front page is triple check for accuracy. It just so happens that the cost of millions of views per day is that a higher than average amount of people will try to tear your work down. If you’re still a little hesitant to believe us, just realize that even Wikipedia trusts them as a source. And we’ve just explained how awesome that site is.
If you don’t have Twitter, you should get it, follow The Rock and never look back. If you do, we don’t have to describe it. Though the service has kicked the ass of the traditional media in the past, for example by beating major news stories to the punch due to the immediacy of Twitter.
However, in research it has been found that overall, major news sources and Twitter are fairly equal in terms of the speed they can break stories, the fact most major news sources are now on Twitter probably has nothing to do with that. Twitter did win in one category though, it’s the best way to find out news on niche subjects. Both in terms of the speed the stories are broke and their accuracy. In fact, Twitter is so good at judging the current mood of the entire world that the CIA itself analyses it to gauge how the public is feeling at any particular moment.
Then again, since you should only be following The Rock, the only news you’ll be getting is information on how much ass he is personally kicking at that one moment.
Unless you think that The Dark Knight is the best movie in history followed only by the Shawshank Redemption, you have no place on IMDB. Like Wikipedia, most of IMDB’s content comes from regular internet denizens and information on the site can be added or edited by anyone willing to desecrate Spiderman’s memory by changing Andrew Garfield’s name to Andrew Gayfield.
According to this article though, IMDB and it’s rival Rotten Tomatoes are the owners of sterling reputations, which is hugely impressive considering that IMDB is mostly sourced from user contributions. The thing is, IMDB is so dedicated to accuracy that they’ve been sued over it. Junie Hoang sued the site when she discovered that it was listing her real age on the site which she insisted was causing her to lose out on work.
Just soak that in, IMDB is so dedicated to sharing factual information that they’re willing to be sued over it and that they’re so boss at finding said information that they actually managed to find out accurate information about a woman who didn’t want it to be known. Say what you want, that takes skill.
2. This random guy on Reddit
Usually trusting a stranger on the internet is a bad idea, unless you like people donkey punching you during a meet up in Starbucks and stealing your kidney. We don’t want random people on the internet to feel disheartened so we want to share a story about at least one guy you can probably trust.
Okay, so that’s not the best name to have when you want people to trust you without question, but before you judge Mr Dolphins1925, we’d like to point out that he’s been predicting stuff with 100% accuracy for the last few months. Sadly the stuff he/she has been predicting are the results of PPV wrestling events not lottery numbers. Before anyone says it, yes we know wrestling is fake and basically a giant soap opera for men, but soap operas tend to keep their storylines secret and wrestling is no different.
In the case of Dolphins1925, their predictions were so accurate that the WWE itself took notice. This doesn’t mean you can trust Xx420weedblasterxX or that guy you always see commenting on YouTube videos of penguins falling over. But never forget that at one point in time there was a guy on the internet who claimed to be able to predict things with 100% accuracy, then went right ahead and did exactly that. How the internet didn’t explode when it happened is beyond us.
Normally we’d be the first to make fun of TMZ, in this case though we really couldn’t find anything to criticize them of. Yes they make all their money reporting on the private lives of celebrities who should by all rights given some privacy, but holy crap are they accurate.
This isn’t just something we’ve noticed either, TMZ’s amazing ability to somehow get awesomely accurate scoops was so notable that when they actually got one wrong, the news picked up on it. In that case the site wrongly reported that Lil Wayne was in a coma when in reality he was just fine, much to the disappointment of everyone who wasn’t a Lil Wayne fan, in other words, everyone.
The site itself attributes its accuracy to the fact that when they receive any sort of a tip, they’ll blanket the city and internet with reporters to verify it. This system must work since the site was one of the first to report on the death of Michael Jackson, though despite repeated questioning, they’ve never been able to adequately explain where their original tip came from. We personally think it probably came from The Rock.