An Index of Unreliable News Sites

Stop spreading rumors, image from Sheriff's Department, Douglas County, Oregon

Sheriff's Department, Douglas County, OregonRemember when we said to follow official sources only. Remember when we said rumors make this already difficult incident even harder? Rumors spread just like wildfire.… Do your part, STOP. SPREADING. RUMORS!

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon

Sheriff's Department, Jackson County, OregonPlease don’t re-post and spread misinformation based on some unverified random post or meme. Rumors make the job of protecting the community more difficult. We are inundated with questions about things that are FAKE stories.… Do your part, verify information you hear through official sources and DON’T spread rumors.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon

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 However, those lists are out-of-date and full of 404s.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