Snopes is in such dire straits that the far-left “fact checker” website has turned to begging for money on GoFundMe.
According to the “Save Snopes” campaign set up by founder David Mikkelson, an outside vendor who once had a contractual relationship with Snopes is holding the website “hostage”:
Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.
As someone who’s worked in web advertising and marketing, I almost feel bad for them. But it’s Snopes, so I don’t. Just look at Mikkelson’s BS plea for readers to open their wallets:
As misinformation has increasingly threatened democracies around the world (including our own), Snopes.com has stood in the forefront of fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online. It is vital that these efforts continue, so we are asking the Snopes.com community to donate what they can. (Our suggested donation is $10, but if you can give more please consider doing so — every little bit helps.)
On the contrary, Snopes is hardly a reliable outlet for “fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online.” Mikkelson has been less than transparent about how he runs his “fact-checking” operation, and at least one Snopes employee has run for political office. Snopes’s main political fact-checker, Kim LaCapria, previously wrote for Inquisitr – a noted publisher of outright hoaxes – and has described herself as “openly left-leaning.” Indeed, Snopes isn’t so much a fact-checking website as it is a liberal defense blog.
Snopes is just an amateur web site run by these two partisan bloggers out of their living room: pic.twitter.com/3MGUZR3l0X
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) July 20, 2017
TechCrunch further explains the site’s legal and financial woes:
Snopes was founded in 1995 by David Mikkelson and Barbara Mikkelson, and ownership formalized in 2003 in Bardav Inc (Get it? Barbara + David = Bardav). Each had one share of the company. But in 2014 the two began divorce proceedings, which would of course necessitate negotiating ownership of their company and Snopes.
In August of 2015, Snopes entered a revenue-share/content and ad management agreement with a company called Proper Media, formed earlier that very year. In early 2016, Proper arranged to buy Barbara’s share of Bardav, replacing her as co-owner of the company. David Mikkelson attempted to kill the contract in spring of 2017 (wouldn’t you?), but Proper resisted, saying the terms of said contract were not fulfilled. In the meantime, it is apparently holding onto the site’s revenue and parts of its infrastructure.
Snopes is asking for $500,000, but only to get them through the end of the year. According to Mikkelson, “There’s no telling how much we’re going to have to end up frittering away on legal fees.” How sad.
Do you trust Snopes? Or do you think it’s just another liberally biased website masquerading as an outlet for truth? Share your thoughts and comments below!