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

(Update: In October 2022 the Iffy Index switched from using MBFC’s Factual-Reporting levels to its newer Credibility rating.)

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). Peer-reviewed studies, health/media guides, and mis/disinfo tools all use the Iffy Index.

Political leaning is not a factor. The Iffy Index includes only sites that MBFC rates as Low Credibility rating and categorizes as either Conspiracy/Pseudoscience (CP) or Questionable Source/Fake News (FN), listed in the MBFC Cat column of the table below. A credibility rating of Low means the site regularly fails fact checks by IFCN-verified fact checkers. Other columns are the site’s: MBFC Factual rating (linked to the site’s MBFC page), Alexa Traffic Rank, Misinfo.me credibility (low: -1.0 to high: 1.0), Wikipedia article (if one exists), and the news outlet’s name linked to fact-checks of its articles.

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. 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?

Political leanings are not a factor. Neither Iffy nor MBFC determines a site’s credibility by its left/right bias. Failed fact-checks are what makes a site Iffy.

Where does Iffy get its info?

Iffy.news pulls the JSON data used in the MBFC browser extension. Tha low-credibility domains and data get stored in a public spreadsheet (view: JSON, download: JSON | CSV). The global Site Rank number in the table comes from Amazon’s Alexa Web Information Service (now offline). Whois Domain Lookup supplies the Year Online (i.e., when the domain name was registered), a column in the sheet.

The Iffy.news is not affiliated with, but is inspired by, the Iffy Quotient at the University of Michigan. I, Barrett Golding, am responsible for th Iffy 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.