The Iffy.news Index of unreliable sources
Misinformation thrives online, propped up by advertising dollars, political donations, and social media shares.
In scores of studies, researchers have tryed to figure out how falsehoods spread. Their research often relies on lists of fake-news sources. However, those lists are out-of-date and full of 404s.
Better data means better results, for researchers, reporters, and readers. So I’ve built a better dataset:
The Iffy.news Index of Unreliable Sources is a resource for researchers needing a database of untrustworthy online sources, based on factual-reporting ratings by Media Bias/Fact Check, the professional news/info website reviewer.
The full Iffy index has data on 400 sites that regularly publish unreliable information, including clickbait, fake news, and unproven allegations. The table below lists a few of those Iffy sites, the ones with the most web traffic (by Alexa Global Rank).
Most-visited unreliable sources
For each site, the factual-level (“low”, “very-low”) links to its MBFC site review. The arrow () links to fact-checks of its articles. The “W” links to its Wikipedia article (if one exists).
Latest Reliability Research
- PolitiFact: Pols, Pundits, and Pant FiresThis last of a three-parter compares the PolitiFact credibility of groups making political claims. The most truthful: comedians. The least: social media.
- PolitiFact: All the Presidents’ PeepsPart two of the series, that turns PolitiFact-checks into credibility scores, calculates the truth ratings of people in the past three presidential administrations.
- PolitiFact: Voters Face FactsUsing PolitiFact-checks, we can compare the credibility of candidates and determine, from past elections, if voters tend to pick the more truthful candidate. (They do.)
- Your State’s Been Pink-SlimedTracking cross-country plink-slime sites that masquerade as local news, with an interactive USA map and a Slime by State table.
- Who Funds Fake News?Fake news is a for-profit business, funded mostly by advertising, with revenue flowing from the biggest brands and adtech agencies into the coffers of clickbait, hate, and mis/disinfo sites.
- Brands Behaving BadlyMillions in ad dollars are helping spread COVID conspiracies, mostly without the the advertiser’s knowledge.
- Bias vs. B.S.Bias doesn’t get a publisher into Iffy.news, only B.S. does. Iffy is blind to bias. However, when bias becomes B.S., data can help determine which direction bias most often turns.
- The Iffy EvolutionWhy the Iffy.news Index exists, its CJR/Poynter past and its current MBFC-based improvements.