Do You Trust Snopes? You Won’t After Reading This.
The big players in the GMO and agrochemical industry – Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Syngenta, DuPont – are engaging in an extensive public relations, advertising, lobbying and political campaigning to make sure that genetically engineered crops (GMOs), and the chemical pesticides they require, continue to proliferate in the U.S.
To improve their public image, they are attempting to manipulate everything we see and hear about GMO crops and pesticides in the media and on TV, the internet and print articles – using propaganda-laden commercials, “mommy-blogger” articles, farmer endorsements, hired operatives to change Wikipedia, and front group websites. The biotech industry is feeling threatened, and their profits hang in the balance. They are trying to silence the truth!
We now have evidence that the website Snopes.com is being manipulated by the industry too. But first, let’s examine what Snopes really is…
A lot of people trust the website Snopes.com and use it to fact-check things they hear on the internet. For no reason whatsoever, this mom-and-pop website has been put on a pedestal as if they are the be-all and end-all of truth on the internet.
Facebook recently teamed up with Snopes, allowing them become an arbitrator of fake news circulating on their network, essentially elevating them as an authoritative source of information. I find this development alarming on many levels:
- While there is some fake news on the internet, this opens up the possibility that op-ed’s and independent journalism will get labeled as “fake news” if Snopes doesn’t agree with an opinion.
- Articles can be deemed “false” if Snopes conducts sloppy fact checking. When it comes to the topic of food, it is imperative that everyone understands that this field is rampant with corrupt paid-off scientists and front groups that are working to protect profits of corporations at the expense of our health. You can not always trust information coming from self-proclaimed independent experts, and sources must be vetted extensively.
- We all have the ability to use critical thinking skills while reading news on Facebook or any other online platform – and should determine for ourselves what is false and what is the truth – instead of relying on the work of websites like Snopes to do that for us.
- Everyone should feel empowered to seek out the truth on their own. Especially when it comes to our health, we need to be our own advocates and investigate the food that we are eating.
- This is treading too close to the line of censorship and can stifle our freedoms to express our ideas.
Is Snopes a credible and authoritative source of information?
- Snopes is now 50% owned by an ad agency (Proper Media) and they make money by generating millions of views on the 3rd-party advertisements on their website. It simply makes sense for them to seek out articles that are viral to “debunk”, so that they can piggy-back on that traffic and generate more advertising revenue.
- Snopes was founded by a husband and wife team who are now in the middle of a contentious divorce in which founder David Mikkelsen has been accused of embezzling $98,000 of company money to spend on “himself and prostitutes”.
- Snopes now has a hired team of suspect fact checkers who collaborate to debunk falsehoods that are trending on the internet.
- These fact checkers reportedly have no editorial oversight and do not follow standard journalistic procedures such as interviewing the authors of articles they are trying to debunk to get all sides of the story.
- Snopes doesn’t have a formal screening process for hiring fact checkers and for evaluating applicants for any potential conflicts of interest. Without such standards, it is very easy for them to be infiltrated by those who work with the industry and who have a hidden agenda.