Iffy+ Mis/Disinfo Sites

Iffy+ merges lists of sites that regularly publish mis/disinformation, as identified by major fact-checking and journalism organizations, into a single dataset.

Iffy+ merges lists of sites that regularly publish mis/disinformation, as identified by major fact-checking and journalism organizations, into a single dataset. Iffy+ is more comprehensive, though less granularly documented, than the Iffy Index of Unreliable News Sources (this site’s other dataset of untrustworthy domains).

The Iffy Index includes only sites Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC) rates Low or Very Low in Factual Reporting. Iffy+ expands on the Iffy Index by adding sites in:

Indiana University’s Hoaxy® project will be using Iffy+ to help visualize the spread of low-credibility sources online. See the Methodology (and Corrections) section below for details on the composition of this dataset.

Iffy+ (mis/disinfo domains)

(Version 1.1, 2021-03-24 | Methodology | Corrections)

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Methodology

The links in the MBFC factual column go to the site’s MBFC review. Site Rank is from Amazon/Alexa Website Traffic Statistics. The ✓s-column arrows (Arrow: link to fact-check search) link to search results with fact-checks of that site’s articles. The “W” links go to the site’s Wikipedia information (if it exists), as an article or in the “List of fake news websites.” The public spreadsheet has additional data.

MBFC categories

CategoryKey
Conspiracy-PseudoscienceCP
Questionable SourcesQS
LeftL
RightR
SatireS

Inclusions and definitions

Iffy+ merges the fake-news lists of respected fact-checkers and journalists, then purges inactive sites. The dataset lists domains identified as unreliable by one or more of these sources:

  • BuzzFeed Fake News Sites: compiled for their “50 Of The Biggest Fake News Hits On Facebook” reports.
  • FactCheck.org Misinformation Directory: “a list of websites that have posted deceptive content.” FactCheck was created by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • MBFC Category: Conspiracy-Pseudoscience, sites “may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence.”
  • MBFC Category: Questionable Sources “exhibit one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news.”
  • MBFC Factual Reporting Levels: Low, “which means the source rarely uses credible sources and is simply not trustworthy for reliable information,” or Very Low, “which means the source almost never uses credible sources and is simply not trustworthy for reliable information at all.”
  • PolitiFact Fake News Almanac: a “list of websites where we’ve found deliberately false or fake stories.” PolitiFact is a joint project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute.
  • Wikipedia List of fake news websites: sites “which intentionally, but not necessarily solely, publish hoaxes and disinformation for purposes other than news satire.”

Exclusions

In rare cases, different trust-rating agencies disagree on a site’s reliability. Iffy+ excludes (does not list) domains with either of these trust-ratings:

Iffy– (inactive mis/disinfo domains)

Unreliable sites often churn through domain names. When one gets outed as mis/disinfo, it goes dark. Soon after, that same fake-news operation often reappears as a different domain. The Iffy– sheet (iffy minus) stores these dead domains, for historical and research purposes. Each was at one time listed on one of the above fake-news lists.

Here’s the tally of domains on each source list, broken down by the total active (Iffy+) and inactive (Iffy–) sites in each:

List data

ListDomainsIffy+Iffy–Unique+Updated
Buzzfeed25782175452018-12
FactCheck100336762018-11
MBFC1,0656803856092020-12
PolitiFact30983226312017-11
Wikipedia83344962020-12
Iffy+ list active sites and Iffy– inactive ones. Unique+ is the number of active sites that are only on that one list.

All Iffy.news data, documents, scripts, and software are released free and open-source (MIT License).

Corrections

To have a site listed or unlisted, submit your request via the forms at Media Bias/Fact Check and NewsGuard. Iffy.news monitor their ratings and changes the Iffy Index and Iffy+ based on their updates. To inform us of your requested corrections, please use the form below. But remember: The lists include only sites with stories that are demonstrably false — not merely biased or partisan. Include URLs of fact-checks that demonstrate whether the site publishes fake or fact-based news.