Save Snopes

I was not expecting to check my email and see an email from Snopes entitled “We need you!” but that’s what I saw in my email yesterday. I guess they had a company providing them some services who has now gone rogue and is basically holding their site hostage. They’re looking for donations to cover the legal costs of fighting this battle. Snopes is pretty much the first place to go to debunk the garbage that flies around email and social media. It would be a terrible loss if it closed ever, but especially now.

Here’s their letter.

Dear Readers,, which began as a small one-person effort in 1994 and has since become one of the Internet’s oldest and most popular fact-checking sites, is in danger of closing its doors. So, for the first time in our history, we are turning to you, our readership, for help.
Since our inception, we have always been a self-sustaining site that provides a free service to the online world: we’ve had no sponsors, no outside investors or funding, and no source of revenue other than that provided by online advertising. Unfortunately, we have been cut off from our historic source of advertising income.
We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the web site hostage. 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. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.
Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.
As misinformation has increasingly threatened democracies around the world (including our own), has stood in the forefront of fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online. It is vital that these efforts continue, so we are asking the community to donate what they can. (Our suggested donation is $10, but if you can give more please consider doing so — every little bit helps.)
We need our community now more than ever, as it is only through your support that can remain the community and resource we all know and love.
Sincerely yours,
Team Snopes

If you want to donate, here’s the Gofundme link. Every little bit helps.

Let’s save Snopes. I want to be able to send my dad to a credible source next time he tells me that my computer is going to blow up or the grocery store is full of dead animals or the like.

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  1. Why they didn’t convert what used to actually be a small, family run business into something that could be scaled up as it grew is a really good question and no, nobody here looks totally great in this. But speaking only for myself, Snopes the service has a lot of goodwill and though it may be foolish, my instinct is still to try helping them at least a little. But this is absolutely something to keep an eye on because Techdirt does good work and almost certainly doesn’t have an axe to grind with the Snopes people.

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