An Index of Unreliable News Sites

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  • Your State’s Been Pink-Slimed
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  • 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 Badly
    Millions 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, 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 Evolution
    Why the Index exists, its CJR/Poynter past and its current MBFC-based improvements.

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 However, those lists are out-of-date and full of 404s.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 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

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For each site, the factual-level (“low”, “very-low”) links to its MBFC site review. The arrow (Arrow: link to fack-check search) links to fact-checks of its articles. The “W” links to its Wikipedia article (if one exists).

The Index has details on each domain and the methodology used to interpret the data. To assess the credibility of a particular site or story, try the Fact-check Search tool.

Media Bias/Fact Check factual-reporting level
MBFC factual-reporting level