Oct 27, 2018

Snopes

Many of us have used the Snopes web site from time to time in order to check out the veracity of stories or to check out emails to see if they are real.
Snopes was founded by a husband and wife team who are now in the middle of a contentious divorce in which founder David Mikkelsen has been accused of embezzling $98,000 of company money to spend on “himself and prostitutes”.

The site is now 50% owned by an ad agency (Proper Media) and they make money by generating millions of views on the 3rd-party advertisements on the website. It makes sense for them to seek out articles that are viral to “debunk”, so that they can piggy-back on that traffic and generate more advertising revenue.

It has a hired team of suspect fact checkers who collaborate to debunk falsehoods that are trending on the internet. These fact checkers reportedly have no editorial oversight and do not follow standard journalistic procedures such as interviewing the authors of articles they are trying to debunk to get all sides of the story.

Snopes is one of the sites that Facebook recently partnered with to fact check news stories on its platform. In the counter-intelligence world, this is what is known as a “wilderness of mirrors” – creating a chaotic information environment that so perfectly blends truth, half-truth, and fiction that even the best can no longer tell what is real and what is not.