Is Snopes Part of a Liberal Agenda?
Facts are Facts & That’s a Fact
Snopes is not part of a “liberal agenda.”
Snopes is not owned by George Soros, or funded by a covert legion of Jewish billionaires, and if you believe this you should probably get a swastika carved into your forehead.
Snopes has never been proven to be biased or a site that promotes “fake news.”
This article could end right here and still be accurate, but I feel compelled to continue…
Where does this intolerance for facts come from? What started it all? Let’s discuss.
JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM
Snopes began in 1994 as the pet project of David and Barbara Mikkelson. Its initial purpose was to debunk urban legends. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories found their more than fertile soil to take root in online, where they could spread rapidly and avoid accountability. As such, Snopes took upon the mantle of disproving these rampant falsehoods, and found itself another niche foothold in journalism within which it could flourish.
As time went on, disproving internet hoaxes, political lies, and propagandic misinformation campaigns became their primary focus, not out of anything other than necessity. No one else was doing it, and these information wars were only getting worse. The cesspool of lies and deceit became so deep, other sites cropped up to take a share of the fact checking pie, like FactCheck.org in 2003, and PolitiFact.com in 2007.
Snopes is open and transparent about how they operate. They have a basic standard process, which is posted online for all to see. They cite all their articles, and use sources that go as direct as possible to the first contact or the originator of the material. They publish all their work that got them to their conclusion, and provide links for readers to dig deeper and decide for themselves what to think. All of this is done with an upmost standard of journalistic integrity, and with a genuine desire to serve the greater good.
In 2008, Barack Obama was running for President of the United States. He was the first African-American to be nominated to a major party for the presidency. Either founded out of racial prejudice, or a deceitful desire to undermine a political opponent, a radical smear campaign was enacted online to try and prevent Obama from being elected. The most prominent of these was the Birther Movement. Snopes played a major role in debunking this sinister plot of misinformation.
Obama was elected handily to two terms as President. When Donald Trump was deciding to run in 2016, a person who was a key figure in promulgating the Birther Movement hoax, coincidentally that is when the attacks on Snopes’ credibility through viral memes and emails began. It only got worse after Trump won the election. One can choose to believe in coincidences if they want to on this, but it’s fairly easy to connect the dots here from one point of attack to another, especially when utilizing the same tactics. What do you do when the entire basis of your leadership is lying to the public, and there are fact checkers out there who call you out repeatedly for your mistruths? Attack and discredit the fact checkers, of course.
If you have a loyal enough following, say one that wouldn’t care even if you shot a man dead in the middle of 5th Avenue, it will have no influence on the status of your deceptions if they are proven false. To a group of people who will readily believe anything Trump says, to discredit him only makes it worse. The Trump Administration’s attack on factual reporting has been well documented. From calling the majority of media affiliates “fake news,” to suggesting that there can exist a set of “alternative facts” dependent on perspective, their agenda has been hardly secretive. Unfortunately, it also has been widely successful in sowing discord and contempt for journalists. A large swath of the public now reports they do not trust a majority of media sources.
What does this mean?
In short, the facts are still the facts, no matter who chooses to believe them. Snopes is rated highly as one of the least biased sources of factual information online. It was found to be “slightly left from center” only due to the number of false claims it is forced to debunk from the right. It is not the fault of the fact checker who it is forced to issue corrections on, that fault lies solely on the teller of the mistruth.
Politicians are notoriously capable of bending the narrative to support their platform, on either side of the aisle. But if multiple sources discredit the narrative of one side over the other, and only sources that are known to be extremely biased say the opposite, the odds are people are simply seeing what they want to see, rather than being willing to acknowledge legitimate facts. There is no such thing as “alternative facts,” no matter what Kellyanne Conway would tell you.
Stop being swindled by propaganda and come back to reality. It’s not so bad here. And the Kool-Aid won’t kill you in the real world.