24 August 2021 - 12:44 pm
On August 14th 2021 a website called Tech Xplore published an article by the Associated Press titled “Prominent fact-checker Snopes apologizes for plagiarism”.
It has been obvious for a very long time that the Fact Checking industry does nothing of the sort, and is simply another cog in the global propaganda machine. Snopes for example claims it uses “non-partisan information and data sources” and the examples they give are “peer-reviewed journals and Government agency statistics”. It is clear how compromised the peer-review system in academia is, funded and staffed by giant corporations and Government toadies, and the idea that Government statistics are “non-partisan” or in other words unbiased and reliable is a joke.
Fact Check sites are also funded by interested parties, and again it should be obvious that the groups paying the money get to call the shots. Full Fact, one of the UK based Fact Checker sites for example lists the following organisations and companies that have “donated” in 2020:
- Luminate (founded by The Omidyar Group, set up by Pam & Pierre Omidya, Pierre is a billionaire and founder of EBay)
- Mohn Westlake Foundation (a Trust that lists Imperial College London among it’s grantees)
- Nuffield Foundation (has Judges and other Government people on it’s trustee board)
- Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (has Government people on it’s trustee board)
- Garfield Weston Foundation (a family-founded, charitable grant-making foundation)
- International Fact Checking Network (an initiative from the Poynter Institute who also run Politifact)
- WhatsApp (Facebook own WhatsApp)
- Gill Family Foundation (listed as a private foundation with $174,017 and no employees, founded by R. Scott Gill a director at Sypris Solutions an aerospace and defence company that works for the US Department of Defence and Intelligence agencies)
- Nesta Democracy Pioneers fund (another Net-Zero emissions “sustainable future” oxymoron promoter)
- William de Winton (former MD of Morgan Stanley, global “wealth management” company)
- The Buchanan Programme (an employee-directed philanthropic programme at Orbis Investments, a multi-billion pound “asset management” company)
- Owen Williams (the Chief Executive of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust according to the Nuffield Trust)
So one of the main Fact Checkers in the UK is funded by the likes of Google, Facebook, various Foundations that have Government people on their trustee boards and various multi-billion pound investment companies and associated people.
But Snopes though, just a man and his wife trying to save the world from hearing things that are not true, right? They’re just honest grafters that want the Truth (imagine an angel chorus singing) for everyone, aren’t they? Well no.
According to the article mentioned at the start from Tech Xplore, they say that…
From 2015 to 2019—and possibly even earlier—David Mikkelson included material lifted from the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian and others to scoop up web traffic, according to BuzzFeed News, which broke the story Friday.https://techxplore.com/news/2021-08-prominent-fact-checker-snopes-plagiarism.html
Mikkelson used his own name, a generic Snopes byline and a pseudonym when he lifted material, including single sentences and whole paragraphs on such subjects as same-sex marriage and the death of David Bowie, without citing the sources, BuzzFeed and Snopes said.
He has been suspended from editorial production pending the conclusion of an internal review but remains CEO and a 50% shareholder in the company, according to a statement from Snopes’ senior leadership.
According to the Buzzfeed article Jeff Zarronandia is “just a David Mikkelson alt” quoting Snopes’ former managing editor Brooke Binkowski who explained that Mikkelson used it to “write about topics he knew would get him hate mail under that assumed name. Plus it made it appear he had more staff than he had”.
It says that “Mikkelson wrote and published 54 articles with plagiarized material” and of course much of this was not really about Fact Checking as generating website traffic that generated advertising revenue. Mikkelson’s excuse? “I didn’t come from a journalism background”. Rightho.
Most of the Fact Checkers use the same tactics when “debunking” something their political and corporate collaborators don’t like. They often use a straw-man argument. This is when they take something that was either not said by the person or group they are debunking, and present it as if they had, something easy to argue against and prove false and can then triumphantly proclaim the entire thing as false, and discredit the group that didn’t even say the thing they just disproved. Or they’ll take a single word and infer a very specific meaning to it that ignores the context or broader points.
An example of this is Full Fact’s debunking of a “claim” made by some people on Facebook that “The government is bringing in a law that means unlicensed, untested vaccines can be given to people and no one is liable if they go wrong.”
This is true, but how Full Fact manage to declare this as “not correct” is by pointing out the distinction between “unlicensed” and “untested”. They state that:
…an “unlicensed” vaccine (for Covid-19 or anything else) does not mean it’s not been tested. As we’ve written before, any vaccine rolled out to the public, unlicensed or not, still has to go through extensive clinical trials. This would include a Covid-19 vaccine.https://fullfact.org/online/unlicensed-not-untested/
…and while that is true, there are no long-term safety tests at all for any of the COVID “vaccines”. It is well known that usually it takes 10-15 years to produce a vaccine and in that time some long-term safety data is then available. Many don’t make it to market because at that point the long-term data shows there is an issue too big to cover up with statistical sleight-of-hand.
This Business Insider article published on 18th July 2020 while obviously promoting the idea of a coronavirus vaccine and hyping up vaccines generally, does describe how vaccines take years, even “decades” to develop usually. The reason for this is that short-term testing on several thousand people in early parts of trials, usually on people that are screened for suitability for the tests is not the same as long-term testing and safety trials. Full Fact have taken a view that if the COVID jabs have undergone any testing at all, e.g. the very early trials on just a few thousand people then it isn’t “untested”. Technically this is correct but they are most definitely “untested” as far as long-term effects go.
The UK Government did hold that consultation, they did change the rules and reduce the liability for if/when things “go wrong” and they are untested as far as long-term studies go. This did not stop Full Fact from declaring victory with their straw-man argument based on their implicit assertion that when the claim used the word untested it meant the same as having undergone no tests at all. These are complex and nuanced issues and the oversimplification of statements, re-contextualising of statements made simply to be able to declare them false and dismiss all legitimate points and concerns is dishonest. It is as dishonest as Snopes’ founder stealing content and publishing under a pseudonym to make his editorial team look bigger and generate ad revenue.
Add to that the Government and Big Tech connections to these Fact Checkers and they are provably on the side of the Establishment, propping up failing narratives and obscuring the truth, despite their catchy slogans that claim they’re transparent and seeking to promote truthful information.