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  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Snopes   

    Snopes pulls out of Facebook’s fact-checking program 

    Snopes pulls out of Facebook's fact checking program

    If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time you’ve probably encountered the fact-checking site Snopes.com. Snopes has been an internet vanguard for over 20 years as a resource people can use to determine whether or not the latest viral story is true or not. Snopes started back in 1994 as an urban legend debunking site but has evolved over the years to debunking everything from whatever chain email that one annoying friend kept sending you to whatever exaggeration the President has posted to Twitter this week. Due to its extensive research of such subjects, Snopes is well-respected across the internet as the de facto fact-checking source.

    In 2016, Snopes was contracted by Facebook to be one of many fact-checking resources used by the social network to try to combat the spread of misinformation Facebook became infamous for during the 2016 Presidential Election. Just a little over two years later, Snopes has left Facebook’s fact-checking initiative. Now, the reason Snopes left depends on who at Snopes you happen to be talking to at the time. The official response has been that it’s not financially viable for Snopes to continue to participate in the program as it’s more expensive to fact-check Facebook than what Facebook is paying Snopes. Another report states that Facebook allegedly doesn’t take fact-checking seriously at all. And a former Snopes employee has said that Facebook is more concerned about using fact-checking to make themselves look good rather than stopping the spread of misinformation.

    So which of the reasons for Snopes’ departure from Facebook is the real one? If we had to guess we’d probably say it was a combination of all of them. As Facebook has shown in the past, it seems to be more interested in keeping people engaged on their platform by counting on users’ outrage, not the truth. The truth doesn’t make for a good story that Facebook users will write epic-length rants about leading to more outrage. And when a Snopes link is posted to try to debunk the latest outrage post, it’s usually met with a resounding “What do they know?” If some of the stories are to be believed, Facebook only wants to have the appearance of fact-checking while promoting any incendiary idea that will keep their users engaged through hate and fear.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Snopes   

    Hoax busting site Snopes facing financial shutdown 

    Hoax busting site Snopes facing financial shutdown

    The scourge of conspiracy theorists and urban legend believers everywhere, Snopes.com is facing a financial crisis that could result in the website shutting down. Snopes was started in 1994 by the married couple of Barbara and David Mikkelson, who created the site in order to have a resource where people could debunk urban legends. Prior to the internet, urban legends would break out in various pockets of the country and would spread like wildfire with nothing to stop them. Some of these tall tales have gone on to ruin the reputations of prominent regional figures. In 2014, the couple divorced with Barbara Mikkelson selling her half of the site to a digital media corporation and that is where Snopes’ current problems seems to have originated.

    Snopes is accusing this digital media company of cutting off its advertising revenue stream in a power struggle for ownership of the site. According to the website SaveSnopes.com

    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.

    Because of this Snopes is going the crowd funding route by trying to raise $500,000 on the fund-raising site GoFundMe. As of this writing, Snopes has raised close to $350,000 toward its goal.

    If Snopes were to close down, it’s almost a guarantee another site could rise from its ashes. However, none of them would have the cache and credibility Snopes does. Losing Snopes would not only embolden conspiracy theorists and partisan ‘news’ sites, it would also be a great loss of a plethora of investigative information that has had a big hand in trying to prevent ignorance on the internet.

     
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