The fact-checking blog Snopes is appealing to readers for $10 donations to save it from an outside vendor that’s allegedly holding the website and its ad revenues “hostage.”
“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,” Snopes staff wrote on a special web page setup to fundraise for the failing fact-check site.
“It is vital that these efforts continue, so we are asking the Snopes.com community to donate what they can,” the staff wrote.
Snopes was founded in 1994, and is well-known for its fact-checking. Google and Facebook employed the fact-checking site’s services earlier this year as part of their crusade against “fake news.” But now an outside vendor Snopes provided web services “continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage.”
Snopes ended its relationship with the vendor earlier this year, according to SaveSnopes.com, but the vendor won’t recognize the terminated contract and has cut the site off from any ad revenues.
“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,” Snopes staff wrote.
“The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us,” they wrote.
Snopes readers may decide to donate, but the website has been criticized for its left-wing bent.
A Daily Caller investigation found nearly “all of the writers churning out fact checks for Snopes have a liberal background, and many of them have expressed contempt for Republican voters.”
TheDC “could not identify a single Snopes fact-checker who comes from a conservative background.” Two fact-checkers wrote for the left-wing site Raw Story and others have “demonstrated liberal partisanship,” according to TheDC.
Snopes was caught in late 2016 omitting key details of a fact-check meant discredit The Daily Caller News Foundation.
TheDCNF’s Ethan Barton reported Snopes made “numerous false statements” in its fact-check of a report on the State Department’s handing money to then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter.
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