Snopes issues apology for plagiarism

Not sure if this is the right forum. As a refugee from that message board, I’m feeling some kinda way about all this. Apology from Members of Snopes Senior Management |

To summarize what Snopes is apologizing for: Dave Mikkelson, one if the founders and a major content contributor, has been discovered to have plagiarized other internet content in creating 54 of his articles on the site.

I’ve had some pretty major problems with Snopes since they had their major rework about 6 or so years ago. I stopped visiting because the actual debunking took a hit and I began finding problems in all sorts of articles, emailed them corrections but they never corrected them. Shit like using outdated sources to “debunk” things (yeah an article about murder rates in 2008 is really going to apply to debunking something about murder rates in 2016)

Interesting article from Buzzfeed:

Getting 'investigative reporter’ed and exposed by the hard-hitting, facts-based journalism of BuzzFeed of all venues. Ouch!

Needs fact checking. Hmmm. I wonder if Snopes has an article about it…

I literally laughed out loud.

From the story cited:

Marchionni suspended Mikkelson from all editorial production pending a final outcome to the internal review and removed his access to our content management system, WordPress, for story production/publishing.

So snopes has basically lost all control of, and ability to have input into, Snopes?

Part of me feels sorry for him. Other parts are saying it’s his own damn fault.

Also from the cite:

Marchionni is reevaluating decisions Mikkelson made years earlier to not allow Snopes stories to be archived on the Wayback Machine and is empowered to make any changes necessary.

Hmm. Wonder if there’s any chance the old board posts might resurface? – not as active boards; I mean old posts on the Wayback Machine, which now as I understand it doesn’t have them.

– I noticed, years ago, close to the exact wording of a post I’d made on those boards in a story on the main site. I assumed at the time that this was open and normal procedure (snopes would every few days post a batch of stuff for us to talk about, and some of those matters would wind up on the main site; I assumed that the purpose was for us to do some of the background research and that snopes, Barbara, etc. would check what we came up with before publishing.)

What concerns me more is that, if he doesn’t retain control of the site, there were supposedly plans to pivot it into something different. That’s what the huge Kickstarter was about.

@thorny_locust If he was taking it from his own forums, then I would suspect he’d have permission. I know that the SDMB says that the Straight Dope has limited rights to repost our posts. It would seem silly for him to plagiarize his own board without making that part of the terms.

As I said, I assumed at the time it was legit. I was thinking more that maybe he got in the habit, and started doing it when it wasn’t legit.

I don’t remember if there was anything in the terms; and the terms, along with the rest of the board, are no longer available to check.

David was always a little weird and could be an asshole but some of the stuff I read about him over the last several years made me think he really went nuts. The divorce, the prostitutes, the embezzling - it got worse every time I saw his name mentioned. I’m not really surprised by this since it seems making money was a big factor and he seems to be totally money driven now.

I fear Snopes may be channeling too much of the Abner Snopes. Barn burning and whatnot…

It really does. He just seems to do whatever he wants no matter how it effects anyone or anything else. Too bad. Once upon a time it was a great message board and a reliable website but that seems to have all gone out the window. I don’t think I have clicked on a snopes link in years. Besides the lesser quality of the articles, there was what seemed like a constant begging for money. I wonder what all the people who donated felt when they found out their cash wasn’t being used to keep the board running but for hookers and vacations.

Snopes got too big. It was originally a blog/message board. No one expected perfessional journalist standards.

Did Mick Jagger eat a Mars bar shoved up Marianne Faithfull’s vag? No one expected a carefully sourced academic reference.

I don’t know what’s been published lately. I quit reading snopes over ten years ago. They started taking themselves too seriously. Took all the fun away.

There was a time that I read it every day. That was at least 15 years ago. I gradually cut back and eventually lost interest.

Too bad about the plagiarism, not excusable.

The false rumor-mongers and alt health nitwits will promote this news as “proof” that nothing Snopes said about them was true, without bothering to address the facts.

Ah, but that’s the beauty of it. Snopes didn’t really say it. Some one else did. So it must still be true!