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Notorious Fact Check Scam Site Snopes: You Can’t Crowdsource Fact Checking

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Published on: February 22, 2019

Crowdsourcing fact checking works quite well. Just ask Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Wikipedia.

But notorious fact checking scammers, Snopes, is most unhappy that Facebook is reluctant to put its scammers in charge. It’s bad enough that Google’s algorithm has privileged its spam and scams, but Facebook continues to be less than happy with the idea.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he is considering crowdsourcing as a new model for Facebook’s third-party factchecking partnerships.

In the first of a series of public conversations, Zuckerberg praised the efforts of factcheckers who partnered with Facebook following the 2016 presidential election as a bulwark against the flood of misinformation and fake news that was overtaking the site’s News Feed.

“The issue here is there aren’t enough of them,” he said. “There just aren’t a lot of factcheckers.”

Assuming that you agree with the left’s premise, that other people’s social media content should be fact-checked, which only fascists do, it’s a legitimate point. But a Snopesian is most unhappy.

Brooke Binkowski, the former managing editor of Snopes, a factchecking site that previously partnered with Facebook, said Zuckerberg’s comments signaled that he “has learned nothing at all”.

“You can’t apply an open-source model to factchecking and journalism,” she said. “You have to have experts. You can’t just have Joe Schmo who thinks that the New York Times is a liberal rag, just because Trump says it’s the enemy of the people.”

Nah you need Joe Schmo who thinks Trump is a Russian agent because the New York Times says so.

Note that Brooke’s example is purely partisan. Snopes is partisan.

Brooke claims that you need “experts”? What makes Snopes an expert site?

Snopes is a train wreck of a site founded by David Mikkelson and his wife, neither of whom are apparent experts in the field of “facts”. Whatever such an expertise would mean. They are, however, experts in the field of running Snopes into the ground.

Now a DailyMail.com investigation reveals that Snopes.com‘s founders, former husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson, are embroiled in a lengthy and bitter legal dispute in the wake of their divorce.

He has since remarried, to a former escort and porn actress who is one of the site’s staff members.

They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of ’embezzlement’ and suggesting he is attempting a ‘boondoggle’ to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas.

The Mikkelsons founded the site in 1995. The couple had met in the early 1990s on a folklore-themed online message board, and married before setting up the site.

Profiles of the website disclose that for some time before it was set up, the couple had posed as ‘The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society’, using its name on letterheads, even though it did not exist.

A profile for the Webby Awards published in October describes it as ‘an entity dreamed up to help make the inquiries seem more legit’.

In the filings, Barbara, 57, has accused her former husband, 56, of ‘raiding the corporate business Bardav bank account for his personal use and attorney fees’ without consulting her.

She also claimed he embezzled $98,000 from the company over the course of four years ‘which he expended upon himself and the prostitutes he hired’.

When fact checkers were helping Snopes raise money during its recent crisis, they somehow neglected to mention these facts.

One of the lead fact-checkers, Kim LaCapria, has also been a sex-and-fetish blogger who went by the pseudonym ‘Vice Vixen.’

She described her blog as a lifestyle website ‘with a specific focus on naughtiness, sin, carnal pursuits, and general hedonism and bonne vivante-ery.’

She regularly provided intimate advice and reviewed sex toys, including a vibrating wand that ‘drives boys mad.’

These are the “experts” who were put in charge of deciding what stories people could share on Facebook.

This is what the fact checking establishment looks like.

Article posted with permission from Daniel Greenfield

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