Iffy Index of Unreliable Sources

The Iffy.news Index of Unreliable Sources compiles credibility ratings by Media Bias/Fact Check and NewsGuard.

Post authorBy Barrett Golding Post date2020-05-03

The Iffy Index of Unreliable Sources compiles credibility ratings by Media Bias/Fact Check. MBFC has substantial experience, comprehensiveness, transparency, accountability, and currency in reviewing news sites (details in methodology). The index also lists site-credibility ratings from Logically.ai, Misinfo.me, Our.news, and Wikipedia.

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

Political leaning is not a factor. The Iffy index includes only sites with low MBFC Factual Reporting levels, which “means the source rarely uses credible sources and is simply not trustworthy for reliable information.” Peer-reviewed studies, health/media guides, and mis/disinfo tools all use the Iffy Index.

Iffy Index of Unreliable Sources

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Where does the Iffy index link?

The links in the MBFC factual column go to the site’s MBFC review. Site Rank is from Amazon/Alexa Website Traffic Statistics. Year online from Alexa and DomainBigData. The “W” links to its Wikipedia article (if one exists). The site’s name in the far-right column links to search results with fact-checks of that site’s articles.

As of June 2021, the Iffy Index lists individual domain’s Misinfo.me credibility rating (between -1 and 1), linked to a detailed report on the site. MisinfoMe’s methodology is well-documented. You can use their online tool to “assesses the credibility of your information source,” including web, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

What’s in Iffy?

The Iffy index lists sites with a low (or very low) MBFC Factual Reporting level. The goal is to give researchers an accurate list of active, unreliable news sources, as vetted by a professional news/info-site reviewer. MBFC meets the following criteria:

  • It is a team of reviewers (not just one person’s opinion).
  • It has reviewed thousands of sites.
  • It accepts feedback from publishers.
  • It stays current, continually rating new sites and reconsidering past ratings.
  • It justifies each rating with public links to reliable sources — the same transparency expected of any news outlet.

What isn’t in Iffy?

The index does not factor in MBFC’s “mixed” factual rating nor their “Questionable Sources” or “Conspiracy-Pseudoscience” designations. Political bias is also not a factor.

Where does Iffy get its info?

Iffy.news pulls JSON data from MBFC, which I store in a public spreadsheet (view JSON, download JSON or CSV). The global Site Rank number in the table comes from Amazon’s Alexa Web Information Service. AWIS and DomainBigData supply the Year Online (i.e., when the domain name was registered).

The Iffy index is not affiliated with, but is inspired by, the Iffy Quotient at the University of Michigan. I, Barrett Golding, am responsible for the Iffy.news index. All Iffy.news data, documents, scripts, and software are released free and open-source (MIT License).


(The Changelog lists quarterly updates.) To have a site listed or unlisted, submit your request via the form at Media Bias/Fact Check (whose ratings Iffy.news compiles). To inform me of requested corrections, please use the form below. But remember: The list includes 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.