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Snopes & Dopes: 'Snopes retracts dozens of articles after review finds Co-founder Plagiarized'

August 15, 2021: The credibility of Snopes has never been lower. From its launch, Snopes has been a business model engineered and "managed" to purvey false claims and information on behalf of its clients (the DNC, mainstream media, social media, public health authorities). Like Lead Stories and other fake fact checkers, Snopes serves as a watchdog for radical media and social media organizations where they censor, suppress, and omit any content that goes against mainstream and DNC/Establishment narratives.

The latest scandal surrounding Snopes and its disgraceful CEO and Co-founder (David Mikkelson) only serves to convincingly underscore the illegitimacy of Snopes as a source of information and "fact-checks". Snopes is to fact checking what the DNC is to politics. Snopes is to fact checking what CNN is to news. Snopes is to fact checking what Google and Wikipedia are to rigged search engines. These similarities are not coincidental.

Preamble by: Extremely American Colin Wright

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Snopes Retracts Dozens of Articles After Review Finds Co-founder Plagiarized

*** David Mikkelson (Snopes CEO), often writing under a pseudonym, repeatedly plagiarized and pasted entire paragraphs from news websites ***

(The Epoch Times - Zachary Stieber; August 14, 2021)

Snopes, a fact-checking website, has retracted at least 54 articles after finding its co-founder and CEO repeatedly plagiarized content from other websites.

David Mikkelson, the Snopes co-founder, has been suspended as the website completes an internal review of the issue.

The review so far has uncovered 54 stories that Mikkelson wrote using the pseudonym “Jeff Zarronandia” or were published under a generic “Snopes Staff” byline, Snopes senior management said in a statement on Friday.

The stories used “appropriated material,” the management said.

Mikkelson plagiarized entire paragraphs from news websites for the articles, according to an Epoch Times review of some of the articles.

For example, a 2015 story about Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis denying requests from gay couples for marriage licenses, matches nearly word-for-word a Reuters article about the development.

A 2016 story under Mikkelson’s name about the death of boxer Muhammad Ali pulled a paragraph from an NBC article.

Readers who go to the Snopes articles are met with an alert that the content has been retracted.

“The post was retracted because some or all of its content was taken from other sources without proper attribution,” the pages state.

Each page now includes a link to the stories from which Mikkelson plagiarized. The plagiarism was first identified by BuzzFeed News, which contacted Snopes, triggering the internal investigation.

Mikkelson, who did not respond to a request for comment, told BuzzFeed that what he did stemmed from not having formal journalism training.

“I didn’t come from a journalism background,” he said. “I wasn’t used to doing news aggregation. A number of times I crossed the line to where it was copyright infringement. I own that.”

Snopes did not answer emailed questions.

Snopes writers said in a joint statement that they condemned what Mikkelson did. “No writer participated in this behavior, nor did any editors—Doreen Marchionni, Camille Knox, and David Emery—support or encourage these practices. We have all been held to very high journalistic standards, both by our editors and by our audience. Although none of us was to blame for the actions of Snopes’ co-founder, we empathize with the journalists whose work was appropriated. This simply should never have happened,” they said.

Marchionni and Green said in a statement that staff members have launched “a comprehensive review of the website’s archives, focusing initially on the author archives, to identify any other discrepancies or room for improvement.” They’re also developing a policy on bylines and reevaluating Snopes decision not to let the website’s stories be archived on the Wayback Machine.

“Let us be clear: Plagiarism undermines our mission and values, full stop. It has no place in any context within this organization. We invite readers to let us know here if they find any other examples of plagiarized content so that we can apply the same treatment as above,” they said.

Brooke Binkowski, a former Snopes managing editor, said that she’s been trying to call attention to the website’s editorial strategy for a long time.

Last year she shared an email on social media she said was sent from Mikkelson to another former Snopes employee. The email called for the writer to “mine similar sites for anything of interest” and “mine political sites for items about Hillary Clinton that we haven’t covered yet” in a bid “to keep traffic levels up.”

The email also said to “copy stuff from any of the plethora of ‘viral items of the day’ sites and post it to” Snopes.

She also posted fact checks from Truth and Fiction on topics that Snopes appeared to cover hours or a day later.

“Here’s the editorial strategy that I was pushing back against at Snopes (an email from my old boss David to my now-employee Kim, in his own words.) We’ve been reluctant to do this, because we wanted to give the benefit of the doubt and not drag the reporters into it,” Binkowski wrote at the time.

“However, we also know how the editorial department is run. It’s not the fault of the reporters. It’s management, and it starts at the top,” she added.

By: Zachary Stieber of The Epoch Times


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