The Daily Mail Publishes Sex Scandal Hit Piece about Snopes

From the Guardian:

On Wednesday evening, Mail Online published a lengthy investigation into fact-checking site Snopes containing salacious details gleaned from legal battles between its recently divorced cofounders.

The claims, mainly about the sexual history and preferences of Snopes employees, but also allegations of financial misbehaviour by its founder, David Mikkelson, which he disputes, are titillating but not Earth shattering.

Noting that the site has been named as third-party fact-checker that will be used by Facebook, the article adds:

…The purpose of the article appears to be to sow doubt about measures to deal with, or at least mitigate, the impact of fake news and falsehoods on social media, long before they have even got off the ground.

The Mail, of course, has skin in this game… It has come under Snopes’ microscope enough times to be called in July “Britain’s highly unreliable Daily Mail” by a Snopes writer who just happens to be named in the Mail story.

Thus the Mail article is not just about sowing doubt – it is a typical Mail revenge attack on a critic, and perhaps a warning to others.

There have of course been previous attacks on Snopes – for the most part, general complaints about the site-owners’ reported liberalism, but sometimes taking issue with a particular post (a few months ago Louise Mensch objected to a Snopes post disputing claims of torture and mutilation in an article on Heat Street about the Bataclan massacre). There is even a critical meme on the subject, which for some reason mocks the Mikkelsons for owning a cat.

However, the simple fact is that the site enjoys a reputation for truthfulness and accuracy because it has earned it. Nowhere does Snopes demand that we simply trust the site’s judgement – instead, it provides judicious quotes from relevant sources, which anyone can then check for themselves.

The Mail‘s article is bylined to Alana Goodman, an American journalist also with the Washington Free Beacon and formerly with Commentary and Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center (the last of which is discussed by ConWebWatch in relation to “fake news” here). Much of her recent output has consisted of critical articles about the Clintons and their circle – most notably a piece on Hillary Clinton’s representation of Thomas Alfred Taylor in 1975, discussed by Snopes here.

One Response

  1. The leftists cannot move away from lies, one lie to another lie, off course in the name of truth,

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