The Daily Mail Snopes Story And Fact Checking The Fact Checkers
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Forbes
Posted: April 1st, 2019
Yesterday afternoon a colleague forwarded me an article from the Daily Mail, asking me if it could possibly be true. The article in question is an expose on Snopes.com, the fact checking site used by journalists ... that Facebook recently partnered with to fact check news stories on its platform. The Daily Mails article makes a number of claims about the sites principles and organization, [and questions] whether the site could possibly act as a trusted and neutral arbitrator of the truth. The Daily Mail appeared to be sourcing its claims from a series of emails and other documents from a court case. Neither Snopes nor its principles had issued any kind of statement ... disclaiming the story. When I reached out to David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, for comment, I fully expected him to respond with a lengthy email in Snopes trademark point-by-point format. It was with incredible surprise therefore that I received Davids one-sentence response which read in its entirety I'd be happy to speak with you, but I can only address some aspects in general because I'm precluded by the terms of a binding settlement agreement from discussing details of my divorce. This absolutely astounded me. Here was the one of the worlds most respected fact checking organizations, soon to be an ultimate arbitrator of truth on Facebook, saying that it cannot respond to a fact checking request because of a secrecy agreement. In short, when someone attempted to fact check the fact checker, the response was the equivalent of it's secret.