Snopes.com claims it is in danger of shutting down

A murky struggle has erupted that, it is claimed, could torpedo a mainstay of the progressive propaganda machine.  The left-wing "fact-checking" site Snopes.com says it is fighting for its life and desperately needs donations, according to its founder, David Mikkelson.

As AT readers know all too well, Snopes has been known to twist facts and definitions to validate progressive tropes under the guise of neutral examination of the facts.  Under this camouflage, Snopes was chosen by Facebook as a source of vetting for "fake news," putting it in the position of censoring access to material on the biggest single source of news for Americans.  For this reason, Snopes matters.  A lot.

In a GoFundMe post, Mikkelson sought half a million dollars from readers but was extremely vague about what is at issue:

We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com 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.

For a site that purportedly is all about facts, this is awfully fact-free.  Tech Crunch did some further digging:

[W]ading into the lawsuit and counter-lawsuit filed earlier this year, it's clear things are far from straightforward, even if Snopes appears (warning: I am not a lawyer) to be… well, if not in the right, then perhaps less in the wrong. Here's the story, as far as I can tell.

Snopes was founded in 1995 by David Mikkelson and Barbara Mikkelson, and ownership formalized in 2003 in Bardav Inc (Get it? Barbara + David = Bardav). Each had one share of the company. But in 2014 the two began divorce proceedings, which would of course necessitate negotiating ownership of their company and Snopes.

In August of 2015, Snopes entered a revenue-share/content and ad management agreement with a company called Proper Media, formed earlier that very year. In early 2016, Proper arranged to buy Barbara's share of Bardav, replacing her as co-owner of the company. David Mikkelson attempted to kill the contract in spring of 2017 (wouldn't you?), but Proper resisted, saying the terms of said contract were not fulfilled. In the meantime, it is apparently holding onto the site's revenue and parts of its infrastructure.

To me this sounds like an opportunistic takeover, but in addition to not being a lawyer, I also am not a businessman, so possibly I'm just naive. At the same time, Proper alleges that Mikkelson misused company funds and inappropriately managed Bardav otherwise. In a statement issued after the publication of this article, Proper wrote:

"Today's post only confirms Proper Media's allegations that Mr. Mikkelson has drained the company's bank accounts and is unable to operate Snopes profitably without Proper Media's expertise and management."

That divorce has led to some nasty accusations.

As of this writing, Snopes has raised over 90% of its goal: $457,479.  The progs understand that their propaganda needs a veneer of legitimacy, and Snopes does the job for them.

A murky struggle has erupted that, it is claimed, could torpedo a mainstay of the progressive propaganda machine.  The left-wing "fact-checking" site Snopes.com says it is fighting for its life and desperately needs donations, according to its founder, David Mikkelson.

As AT readers know all too well, Snopes has been known to twist facts and definitions to validate progressive tropes under the guise of neutral examination of the facts.  Under this camouflage, Snopes was chosen by Facebook as a source of vetting for "fake news," putting it in the position of censoring access to material on the biggest single source of news for Americans.  For this reason, Snopes matters.  A lot.

In a GoFundMe post, Mikkelson sought half a million dollars from readers but was extremely vague about what is at issue:

We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com 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.

For a site that purportedly is all about facts, this is awfully fact-free.  Tech Crunch did some further digging:

[W]ading into the lawsuit and counter-lawsuit filed earlier this year, it's clear things are far from straightforward, even if Snopes appears (warning: I am not a lawyer) to be… well, if not in the right, then perhaps less in the wrong. Here's the story, as far as I can tell.

Snopes was founded in 1995 by David Mikkelson and Barbara Mikkelson, and ownership formalized in 2003 in Bardav Inc (Get it? Barbara + David = Bardav). Each had one share of the company. But in 2014 the two began divorce proceedings, which would of course necessitate negotiating ownership of their company and Snopes.

In August of 2015, Snopes entered a revenue-share/content and ad management agreement with a company called Proper Media, formed earlier that very year. In early 2016, Proper arranged to buy Barbara's share of Bardav, replacing her as co-owner of the company. David Mikkelson attempted to kill the contract in spring of 2017 (wouldn't you?), but Proper resisted, saying the terms of said contract were not fulfilled. In the meantime, it is apparently holding onto the site's revenue and parts of its infrastructure.

To me this sounds like an opportunistic takeover, but in addition to not being a lawyer, I also am not a businessman, so possibly I'm just naive. At the same time, Proper alleges that Mikkelson misused company funds and inappropriately managed Bardav otherwise. In a statement issued after the publication of this article, Proper wrote:

"Today's post only confirms Proper Media's allegations that Mr. Mikkelson has drained the company's bank accounts and is unable to operate Snopes profitably without Proper Media's expertise and management."

That divorce has led to some nasty accusations.

As of this writing, Snopes has raised over 90% of its goal: $457,479.  The progs understand that their propaganda needs a veneer of legitimacy, and Snopes does the job for them.

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