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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is Snopes.com Astroturf?

An e-mail I received.  Worth checking out:

"For the past few years www.snopes.com has positioned itself, or others have labeled it, as the 'tell-all final word' on any comment, claim and email. But for several years people tried to find out who exactly was behind snopes.com ..

Only recently did Wikipedia get to the bottom of it - kinda makes you wonder what they were hiding. Well, finally we know. It is run by a husband and wife team - that's right, no big office of investigators and researchers, no team of lawyers. It's just a mom-and-pop operation that began as a hobby. David and Barbara Mikkelson in the San Fernando Valley of California started the website about 13 years ago, 20- and they have no formal background or experience in investigative research. After a few years it gained popularity with many believing it to be unbiased and neutral, but over the past couple of years people started asking questions who was behind it and did they have a selfish motivation?

The reason for the questions - or skepticism's - is a result of snopes.com claiming to have the bottom line facts to certain questions or issue when in fact they have been proven wrong. Also, there were criticisms the Mikkelsons were not reallyinvestigating and getting to the 'true' bottom of various issues. A few months ago, when my State Farm agent Bud Gregg in Mandeville hoisted a political sign referencing Barack Obama and made a big splash across the internet, 'supposedly' the Mikkelson's claim to have researched this issue before posting their findings on snopes.com. In their statement they claimed the corporate office of State Farm pressured Gregg into taking down the sign, when in fact nothing of the sort 'ever' took place. I personally contacted David Mikkelson (and he replied back to me) thinking he would want to get to the bottom of this and I gave him Bud Gregg's contact phone numbers – and Bud was going to give him phone numbers to the big exec's at State Farm in Illinois who would have been willing to speak with him about it. He never called Bud. In fact, I learned from Bud Gregg no one from snopes.com ever contacted anyone with State Farm. Yet, snopes..com issued a statement as the 'final factual word' onthe issue as if they did all their homework and got to the bottom of things - not!

Then it has been learned the Mikkelson's are very avid Democrats (party) and extremely liberal, as we all now know from this presidential election.

So, I say this now to everyone who goes to snopes.com to get what they think to be the bottom line facts ....'proceed with caution.' Take what it says at face value and nothing more. Use it only to lead you to their references where you can link to and read the sources for yourself. Remember, you can always Google a subject and do the research yourself. It now seems apparent that's all the Mikkelson's do. After all, I can personally vouch from my own experience for their 'not' fully looking into things.

I have found this to be true also! Many videos of Obama I tried to verify on Snopes and they said they were False.......Then they gave their Liberal slant....!!! I have suspected some problems with snopes for some time now, but I have only caught them in half-truths. If there is any subjectivity they do an immediate full left rudder.

www.truthorfiction.com is a far a better source for verification, in my opinion. The Mikkelsons are in the tank for Obama. There are many things they have listed on their site as a hoax and yet you can go to Youtube yourself and find on other videos of Obama actually saying these things. So you see, you cannot and should not... Trust Snopes.com ever for anything that is remotely political! I don't even trust them to tell me if email chains are hoaxes anymore. So goes modern journalism. There are cropping up numerous sites and blogs that openly challenging Snopes's findings, opinions, and outright claims.

A few conservative speakers on Myspace told me about Snopes a few months ago and I took it upon myself to do a little research to find out if it was true. Well, I found out for myself that it is true, so you might consider thinking twice before relying on Snopes.com for fact checking and do your friends the courtesy of tipping them off to Snopes political slant.
Many people still think Snopes.com is neutral and they can be trusted as factual.

We need to make sure everyone is aware that... that is a hoax in itself."


kc said...

Never thought they were neutral...but do use them as verification on some things because it's quick&easy. And I knew they were big Dems several years ago...though I don't know how I found out.

Hey, it still holds true that if you don't see it for yourself, it's hearsay. You know, my dad's advice stands - don't believe anthing you read and only half of what you see. Snopes may verify some things for me, but politically I only trust my 'trusted sources' and my own lyin' eyes!

Christopher R Taylor said...

I've never understood why people trust Snopes so much but they tend to be fairly accurate and I've never seen them be politically slanted one way or another.

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