Snopes is a notorious disinformation site. Below are the facts. There are several articles in this blog.
Source Article: Snopes Exposed: A Look at the “Fake News” Watch Dogs https://healthimpactnews.com/2017/snopes-exposed-a-look-at-the-fake-news-industry/
Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
After receiving comments from people claiming that Snopes had proven our articles as “untrue,” I researched Snopes.com and wrote an article about their biased coverage of health issues back in 2014:
It can probably be accurately stated that Snopes upholds the mainstream media propaganda, while attacking anything in the alternative media.
Last June, when we broke the story about the 14 year old rape victim in Alabama who had her new-born infant taken away from her while at the hospital at the time of the birth, the story quickly went viral gaining millions of pageviews nation wide. Health Impact News had their own reporter at the scene who witnessed the entire event, and even captured much of it on video.
Snopes quickly responded with this:
Snopes did not say our story was untrue, but they did attack Health Impact News and cast doubt on our story:
Origin: In June 2016 the notoriously unreliable web site Health Impact News published an article reporting that agents of Alabama’s child protective services (CPS) had stormed a hospital and taken a newborn baby away from its 14-year-old mother solely because the child was conceived during a rape..
They presented no evidence whatsoever that the story was untrue, and yet they are held by many as protectors of the truth, such as apparently Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, who recently stated that they would use Snopes to determine “fake news.”
Snopes claims to be unbiased with no outside influence, and yet, as news reports recently revealed through the divorce proceedings of David Mikkelson from his former wife Barbara, he was receiving a salary of $240,000.00 a year, and believed he should be earning $720,000.00 a year, while maintaining bank accounts in excess of millions of dollars.
If this simple Internet website does not receive outside influence, where is all this money coming from?
Snopes Outed as Unfit to Arbiter ‘Truth’
by Dr. Mercola
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or hiding beneath the covers in your bed for the past couple of months, you’ve undoubtedly heard the war cries against “fake news.”
Facebook — being the largest social media site on which news is shared among millions — has vowed to take steps to limit the amount of “misinformation” that can be spread on its site by forwarding suspected fake news stories to fact-checkers like Snopes. ,,,,
So-called disputed stories would then be “buried” lower in people’s newsfeeds. However, while verifying celebrity deaths or disputing urban legends — Snopes’ specialty — is a pretty easy task, debating matters about health and nutrition is an altogether different matter.
If Snopes, whose office is reportedly filled with junk food,  is now the arbiter of truth when it comes to health — you can expect to see massive censorship of natural health and general promotion of industry talking points.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote that if he were ever to decide between a government without newspapers or newspapers witthout government he would not hesitate a moment to prefer the later.
Remember that 90 percent of U.S. media is controlled by six corporations, making it virtually impossible to get any information that is not consistent with their agenda to maximize their profits. The only bastion of hope to find out the truth is the uncensored internet.
It seems these corporations are taking advantage of the current sense of confusion, and are using their existing control to silence disagreement in a manner that strongly reminds me of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s efforts in the 1950s to accuse many innocent people of being communists.
The Murky War on Fake News
By definition, fake news stories would be articles that are figments of someone’s imagination or contain outright falsehoods. On the one end of clear-cut fake news you have The Onion, a well-known satire site.
On the other, you have RealTrueNews.org, which claims to create intentionally fake stories “to make those who share fake right-wing news … more aware that they’re susceptible to stories written in [their] language that are complete, obvious [and] utter fabrications,” The Daily Beast reports. 
In the middle, you have shoddy journalism in general, where bias, corporate and political influence, unreliable sources, malleable ethics and general laziness or plain lack of experience result in a wide array of news of questionable quality and accuracy.
The main difference is that everything in this middle gray-zone usually claims to be based in fact and truth. But is censoring or blacklisting the best way to address so-called “fake news” — especially when a vast majority of it falls in this gray zone?
Of course, people are also allowed to express their opinions (ideally, journalists should make such statements clear), which cannot be arbitrated as true or false per se.
As recently noted by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, the solution to fake news is teaching people critical thinking — not censoring what they read. 
“The problem of fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee but rather because we as participants, we as citizens, we as users of these services help each other.
The answer to bad speech is not censorship. The answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting very popular,” Snowden told Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Facebook Clamping Down on Fake News — or so It Thinks
Facebook has announced it will stem the tide of fake news stories — the magnitude of which is estimated to be a fraction of 1 percent of the network’s content — by allowing users to flag a post as fake news. Flagged posts would then be handed over to a coalition of fact-checkers.
But who exactly are these fact-checkers, and do they have the appropriate qualifications to arbiter “truth?”
It’s difficult for any given individual to determine what is 100 percent accurate without significant personal insight into the topic at hand, and the ability to accurately sort through scientific research, should such a thing be necessary.
Attention to detail, an inquiring mind and following a thorough process that includes looking at things from many sides would also be helpful. There’s also the issue of bias. A professional fact-checker can have none.
With all of that in mind, the coalition of fact-checkers selected by Facebook to police our news feeds — which include Snopes,  PolitiFact, the Associated Press, FactCheck.org and ABC News — raises concerns.
Most if not all of these organizations tend to political left-leaning bias, as does Facebook, if we’re to believe The Washington Post. 
When it comes to fake information, it is ironic that Facebook and Google relentlessly promote “fake” information in the form of advertisements for pharmaceuticals and other businesses — their primary form of revenue earnings. Will Snopes also be verifying the validity of their promoted advertisements?
It seems nearly every ad they perpetuate contains “fake” information, yet they have no concerns raking in the cash by promoting pharmaceutical and other industry perspectives.
The Twisted People Facebook Entrusts With Controlling What You Read
The danger of giving certain entities the power to tag a news story as “fake” or “real” is clearly demonstrated by recent revelations about Snopes.  After Facebook announced Snopes would be used to fact-check stories, The Daily Mail  questioned Snopes’ façade as a paragon of truth.
Snopes was created in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson to explore the truth and fiction behind myths and urban legends (see video above). According to the Daily Mail’s investigation into the company, the couple posed as “The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society” when they first started — a society that, in fact, does not exist as a legal entity.
David has admitted they created the fake society, with official-looking stationary and all, “to help make the inquiries seem more legit.” The Mikkelsons divorced in 2015, but are still locked in a heated legal battle over corporate and private funds. Barbara claims David embezzled $98,000 of company money, allegedly spending it on “himself and prostitutes,” and used corporate funds for his personal use, including attorney’s fees, without consulting her.
David, on the other hand, claims he’s been underpaid, and is demanding an “industry standard” rate of at least $360,000 per year. He’s currently making $240,000 a year from Snopes. He also accuses Barbara of taking millions of dollars from their joint bank accounts to buy property. According to the Daily Mail, David’s attorneys have also “blasted Barbara as ‘a loose cannon who simply must have her way.’”
Who Are Snopes’ Fact-Checkers?
According to the featured report, David’s new wife, Elyssa Young — a former escort, self-proclaimed “courtesan” and porn actress who ran for Congress in Hawaii as a Libertarian in 2004 — is now employed as a Snopes administrator. Despite that, David claims Snopes still has no political leanings.
Young is also said to maintain a website that offers her escort services, although “it is unclear if she is still working as one,” the Daily Mail notes. Another former sex-blogger known as “Vice Vixen” (real name Kimberly LaCapria) is one of Snopes’ main contributors.
According to her blog — which she describes as being focused on “naughtiness, sin, carnal pursuits and general hedonism and bonne vivantery” — she has performed her Snopes duties while smoking pot. In all, Snopes is said to have six employees “scattered across the U.S.” 
Snopes Unfit to Arbiter News
Ironically, as noted by the Daily Mail, “The two also dispute what are basic facts of their case — despite Snopes.com saying its ‘ownership’ is committed to ‘accuracy and impartiality.’” They even had a fall-out over the arbiter they’d appointed to settle David’s income dispute. ” … [M]eaning that arbiter cannot even agree on its own arbiter,” the Daily Mail notes. The Daily Mail contacted both David and Barbara for comments and confirmation of their disputes. According to the article:
“David said he was legally prohibited from discussing his ex-wife’s allegations. ‘I’d love to respond, but unfortunately the terms of a binding settlement agreement preclude me from publicly discussing the details of our divorce,’ he said. Barbara Mikkelson said: ‘No comment.’”
Forbes contributor Kalev Leetaru got a similar response. He writes: 
“When I first read through the Daily Mail article I immediately suspected the story itself must certainly be ‘fake news’ … if any of the claims were true … companies like Facebook would not be partnering with them … Thus, when I reached out to David Mikkelson … for comment, I fully expected him to respond with a lengthy email in Snopes’ trademark point-by-point format, fully refuting each and every one of the claims in the Daily Mail’s article and writing the entire article off as ‘fake news.’
It was with incredible surprise therefore that I received David’s 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 one of the world’s 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.’
It is impossible to understate how antithetical this is to the fact checking world, in which absolute openness and transparency are necessary prerequisites for trust. How can fact checking organizations like Snopes expect the public to place trust in them if when they themselves are called into question, their response is that they can’t respond?”
New York Times Shows Disappointing Lack of Care
Did you know that anyone, regardless of background, can be hired by Snopes? Indeed, the company does not have any set professional requirements for fact-checkers. Disturbingly, David has admitted they do not even have a standardized procedure for conducting the actual fact-checking. ,
Surprisingly, not everyone appears to care about the integrity of fact-checkers. The New York Times  published a puff piece in Snopes’ defense, side-stepping any and all concerns raised by the Daily Mail and Forbes — a strange choice after its November 13 promise to: 
“…[R]ededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism … to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you … to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly.”
Snopes is about to be given the power to decide what’s true and what’s not, yet The New York Times doesn’t raise or answer a single question about its lack of professional requirements or fact-checking procedures. How can that be? Personally, I’m dismayed by it. If you agree, I suggest letting The New York Times know they’re already falling behind on their promise to “report … honestly, without fear or favor.”
Snopes Is Just Another Voice for the Status Quo
A perfect example of why Snopes should have nothing to do with arbitrating health news is its “debunking” of safety concerns about aspartame.  This case also demonstrates the insidious and dangerous effect of bias, which can come from the very highest levels. Snopes bases its decision on the 1999 testimony of David Hattan, Ph.D., acting director of the Division of Health Effects Evaluation in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Clearly, he is a person of authority. And yet he’s wrong. Entire books have been written delineating the cover-up and political shenanigans that allowed aspartame on the market and has kept it there ever since, despite warnings from scientists both before and after its release. Reputable scientists have also refuted a number of Hattan’s comments, such as the idea that aspartame may only cause problems in individuals with a rare genetic disorder.
At the very least, Snopes would need to read the books and review the aspartame research that shows harm, and there are many such studies. Instead, they took the easy way out. As a result, a lot of people are not properly forewarned and may be hurt.
Ditto for Roundup. On November 16, 2016, Snopes looked into claims made by Food Babe that the FDA might have shut down its residue testing of glyphosate due to complaints from Monsanto. “False,” Snopes declared. Ironically, the page declaring that no corporate influence played a role, AND that “the broad scientific consensus is that [glyphosate] is not a risk,” contains a prominent ad for the Bayer-Monsanto merger.
This clearly demonstrates the danger of having advertisers. Even if they don’t tell you what to say, their ad makes it appear as though they most likely did. In this case, the nail in the proverbial coffin is a Twitter exchange  that clearly shows the fact-checker for Snopes, Alex H. Kasprak, got his information about glyphosate’s safety from Kevin Folta, Ph.D.
Folta, a University of Florida professor and a vocal advocate of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), who vehemently denied ever receiving any money from Monsanto, was caught lying about his financial ties to the company in 2015. In fact, the evidence suggests he purposely solicited the funds with intent to hide the source.
Everyone knows that with the money comes influence, and Folta himself promised a “return on investment” in writing. This just goes to show that part of fact-checking is background-checking your sources as well, and considering the many different angles available.
What About Mainstream Media Flubs?
A number of people have also questioned how mainstream media would be dealt with in this war on fake news, and rightfully so. As noted by The Daily Beast: 
“Mike Cernovich, who popularized the #HillarysHealth hashtag during the presidential election, helping to spread various theories about her rumored ailments, told The Daily Beast that other news outlets, which have reported things that turned out to be false, should also perhaps be banned.
‘Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Should The New York Times be banned from Facebook?’ Cernovich said in a direct Twitter message to The Daily Beast referencing erroneous reporting about the lead-up to the Iraq War.
‘Rolling Stone created a nationwide hysteria surrounding the University of Virginia. Rolling Stone created a rape hoax. Should Rolling Stone be banned from Facebook? Should the so-called journalists who linked to the hoax article be banned from Facebook? …
Sometimes people are wrong. Being wrong is different from spreading fake news. If a person is legitimately trying to reason her way to the truth, even if misguided, then she is not spreading fake news — even if it seems ‘kooky’ to outsiders … The entire media enterprise has become dishonest. We define one another based on … a bad judgment call or two … In that regard, all of media is fake news.’”
We Should Be More Concerned About Algorithms Filtering Our Reading Material
Forbes’ contributor Jordan Shapiro takes it a step further, calling the “fake news” scare a case of fake news. His excellent article, which I recommend reading in its entirety, reads in part: 
“Don’t worry about fake news. The whole scare is, itself, fake news. Don’t believe a word of it. Could it be that the news media is still trying to distract us from their own poor performance? After all, if inaccuracy makes a thing ‘fake,’ then all the pundits’ and pollsters’ pre-election day predictions were pretty bad offenders.
Or perhaps we should define fake news as the process of intentionally producing false stories for rhetorical reasons, in order to persuade people to shift perspectives. Which would make most of the advertising industry guilty …
While well-meaning people run around trying to protect children (and gullible adults) from so-called ‘fake news,’ anyone … who actually leans totalitarian must be ecstatic … Once the citizenry accepts the conceit that some news is ‘real’ (and therefore, good) while other news is ‘fake’ (and therefore, bad) they’ll voluntarily submit to censorship. Freedom of the press can easily be replaced by sanctioned propaganda …
[T]he real problem is not falsehoods or inaccuracies, but rather that everything about the popular landscape of digital media currently encourages us to see the world the way we want it to be. Combine that with an education system which pays little more than lip service to critical thinking … and you end up with a population that’s been encouraged to live with poor vision … Democracy’s biggest threat is not tyrants, but rather citizens who are satisfied with their own limited view of reality.”
We are all flawed individuals with our own perspectives and biases. To suggest that any person or group of people could be put in charge as “arbiters of truth” is a dangerous and inevitable path towards censorship.
Google and Facebook’s foundations were built upon crowd-sourcing free thoughts and actions. It now appears their creative beginnings are transforming into a censorship authority that controls what information may be viewed by the public. We all find our inner truths differently, and to allow Snopes and similar groups to become the internet’s watchdogs will result in biased censorship and will be a devastating mistake for Facebook and Google.
Read the full article at Mercola.com.
Sources and References
- 1 New York Times December 15, 2016
- 2 The New York Times November 14, 2016
- 3 Fox News December 16, 2016
- 4, 13 The Guardian August 1, 2016
- 5 The Atlantic November 11, 2016
- 6 New York Times December 27, 2016
- 7, 21 The Daily Beast December 16, 2016
- 8 Breitbart December 21, 2016
- 9 Snopes.com December 15, 2016
- 10 The Washington Post June 13, 2016
- 11 The Free Thought Project December 22, 2016
- 12, 15 Daily Mail December 21, 2016
- 14, 16 Forbes December 22, 2016
- 17 The New York Times December 25, 2016
- 18 New York Times November 13, 2016
- 19 Google results, Snopes Aspartame
- 20 Twitter, Kevin Folta and Alex Kasprak
- 22 Forbes December 26, 2016
Source Article: Exposing Snopes Bias in Attempt to Discredit Investigative Report on Vaccines-Autism Link http://healthimpactnews.com/2019/exposing-snopes-bias-in-attempt-to-discredit-investigative-report-on-vaccines-autism-link/
Why Snopes Gets an ‘F’
In the barrage of information you come across daily online, how do you know what’s true and what’s nothing more than hearsay, gossip or all-out lies? Some people use Snopes as their go-to source for online fact-checking, believing it to give the unbiased and credible final word on all those widely-circulated stories.
If you’re relying on Snopes as your arbiter of truth, however, you’re in for a surprise: Snopes engages in massive censorship of natural health and general promotion of industry talking points. What started as a tool to investigate urban legends, hoaxes and folklore has manifested into a self-proclaimed “definitive fact-checking resource” that’s taking on topics like whether or not vaccines can cause autism.
Yet, in their purported fact-checking of a Full Measure report1 by award-winning investigative reporter and former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson,2 Snopes simply spewed propaganda, not real facts, in an attempt to discredit the report and the potential vaccines-autism link. In the end, though, they actually ended up confirming the main point of Attkisson’s report. For this, Attkisson wrote, “Snopes gets an ‘F’ for predictable propaganda in [the] vaccine-autism debate.”
Snopes Attempts to Discredit Investigative Report on Vaccines-Autism Link
Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, is a pro-vaccine expert witness the U.S. government used to debunk and turn down autism claims in vaccine court. “Zimmerman was the government’s top expert witness and had testified that vaccines didn’t cause autism.
The debate was declared over,” Attkisson reported. “But now Dr. Zimmerman has provided remarkable new information,” she said in the Full Measure report, adding:3
“He claims that during the vaccine hearings all those years ago, he privately told government lawyers that vaccines can, and did cause autism in some children. That turnabout from the government’s own chief medical expert stood to change everything about the vaccine-autism debate. If the public were to find out …
And he has come forward and explained how he told the United States government vaccines can cause autism in a certain subset of children and [the] United States government, the Department of Justice [DOJ], suppressed his true opinions.”
Zimmerman declined to be interviewed for the report, but referred Attkisson to his sworn affidavit, dated September 7, 2018, in which he stated that, in 2007, he told DOJ lawyers he had “discovered exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism.
“I explained that in a subset of children … vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation … did cause regressive [brain disease] with features of autism spectrum disorder,” Zimmerman wrote.
This reportedly “panicked” the DOJ, which subsequently fired him, saying his services would no longer be needed, but essentially attempting to silence him. According to Zimmerman, the DOJ then went on to misrepresent his opinion in future cases, making no mention of the exceptions he’d informed them of.
“Meantime, CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] — which promotes vaccines and monitors vaccine safety — never disclosed that the government’s own one-time medical expert concluded vaccines can cause autism — and to this day public health officials deny that’s the case,” according to the Full Measure report.4
Attkisson’s report also reveals how Congressmen who wanted to investigate the autism-vaccine link were bullied, harassed and threatened. Dan Burton (R-IN), Dr. Dave Weldon (R-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) are among 11 current and former members of Congress and staff who told Attkisson they were warned by PhRMA lobbyists to drop the vaccine safety issue.
Snopes Gets an ‘F’ for Fact-Checking
In an article that attempts to fact-check Attkisson’s investigation, Snopes calls out many of the claims as false while clearly attempting to “debunk” vaccine-autism claims. However, in a rebuttal, Attkisson explains that Snopes earned a failing grade for its reporting.
“[T]he Snopes article debunks claims that were never made and uses one-sided references as its sources — other propagandists — without disclosing their vaccine industry ties.”5
For starters, Snopes labeled Zimmerman as a supporter of vaccination, as though this was something that Attkisson hid. In contrast, this point was central to Attkisson’s story and a large part of what makes his statements regarding vaccines and autism so noteworthy. Some of the additional egregious tactics Snopes used to try to discredit Attkisson’s report included the following:6
- Snopes claimed Attkisson’s reading of Zimmerman’s sworn affidavit was flawed when she “simply quoted from the affidavit”
- Snopes states that Zimmerman’s view is “not held by many scientists,” but did not survey several reputable scientists who hold the view
- Snopes fails to address what its headline promises: the question of whether the government censored its own expert witness’ opinion
It’s important to note that Snopes also wrote their article without contacting Attkisson, who went on to state that they also listed claims she never made, then declared them to be false, and even were incorrect in one of their own claims, specifically that the existence of a potential link between vaccines, mitochondrial disorder and autism was not news at the time of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services omnibus autism proceedings in 2007.
“In fact, this suspected link was not previously known before the so-called ‘omnibus’ groups of vaccine-autism cases litigated a decade ago, and it is not widely known among doctors or the general public today; at least as of recently. That’s why it has proven to be so newsworthy,” Attkisson wrote, adding:7
“Snopes demonstrates reckless disregard for the truth when disparaging my reporting by falsely stating that it contains ‘misleading claims’ …
Refuting claims never made in my report and putting out one-sided vaccine propaganda makes one wonder whether Snopes author Alex Kasprak even read or watched the report he attempts to criticize, or just blindly printed the propaganda provided to him by vaccine industry interests.”
Snopes Author Uses Industry Sources for ‘Facts’
November 16, 2016, Snopes looked into claims made by Food Babe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might have shut down its residue testing of glyphosate due to complaints from Monsanto. “False,” Snopes declared.8 Ironically, the page declared that no corporate influence played a role and “the broad scientific consensus is that [glyphosate] is not a risk.”
Yet, a Twitter exchange clearly showed that the fact-checker for Snopes, Kasprak — the same author who wrote the critical review of Attkisson’s investigation — got his information about glyphosate’s safety from Kevin Folta, Ph.D.9
Folta, a University of Florida professor and a vocal advocate of genetically modified organisms(GMOs), who vehemently denied ever receiving any money from Monsanto, was caught lying about his financial ties to the company in 2015. The most flagrant piece of evidence against Folta shows that not only did he solicit funds from Monsanto, but he did so with intent to hide the financial connection between them.
Ironically, getting back to Attkisson’s case, the Snopes report ended up confirming exactly the point she was trying to make, stating,
“Zimmerman, a scientist with serious credentials who was once a government expert on vaccines, believes that narrow circumstances might exist in which the combination of preexisting mitochondrial dysfunction and vaccination could trigger ASD [autism spectrum disorders].”10
“Snopes fabricates claims that were never made, debunks the fabricated claims,” Attkisson wrote, “and then ultimately agrees that the report I produced was accurate.”11
Snopes Founders Embroiled in Controversy
It’s dangerous to rely on any one source or group of individuals as authorities on truth, as it sets up the path for inevitable censorship. Even under the best circumstances, everyone is subject to their own biases, but in the case of Snopes, it was founded on fabrications from the start.
Snopes was created in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson, who posed as “The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society” in the beginning in order to gain credibility. Such a society does not exist as a legal entity, according to an investigation by the Daily Mail.12
The company soon expanded, but ultimately its founders divorced — amid claims that David Mikkelson embezzled company money for prostitutes and Barbara Mikkelson took millions from their joint bank account to buy property in Las Vegas.
According to Daily Mail, Mikkelson’s new wife, Elyssa Young — a former escort, self-proclaimed “courtesan” and porn actress who ran for Congress in Hawaii as a Libertarian in 2004 — was then employed as a Snopes administrator, even though the company claims to have no political leanings.
In response to the allegations, Forbes published an article weighing whether it was just another case of fake news, but ultimately was astonished by the lack of transparency given by the company’s founder when asked for comment, who stated that he was unable to respond due to a confidentiality clause in his divorce settlement. According to Forbes:13
“This creates a deeply unsettling environment in which when one tries to fact-check the fact-checker, the answer is the equivalent of ‘its secret’ …
At the end of the day, it is clear that before we rush to place fact-checking organizations like Snopes in charge of arbitrating what is “truth” … we need to have a lot more understanding of how they function internally and much greater transparency into their work.”
Hardcore Censorship of Alternative Health and Media in Progress
Whether it be the recent flu shot stunt at the Golden Globes or the industry-driven “facts” published by Snopes, it’s clear that industry propaganda and censorship of health and media information that strays from the mainstream is a growing problem.
In a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy, 73 percent said they believe the proliferation of “fake news” on the internet is a major problem, and only half feel confident that readers can get to the facts by sorting through bias.14 And the fact is, fake news is a real problem. But it’s important to do your own research before believing even “fact-checked” sources like Snopes.
NewsGuard is another outlet to be wary of. The entity is setting itself up as the self-appointed global arbiter of what information is “trustworthy” — based on nine “credibility and transparency” factors — not only for information viewed on private electronic devices, but also for information accessible in public libraries and schools.
Once you’ve installed the NewsGuard browser plugin on your computer or cellphone, the NewsGuard icon rating will appear on all Google and Bing searches and on articles featured in your social media news feeds.
These icons are meant to influence readers, instructing them to disregard content with cautionary colors and cautions, but I believe the true intent will be to bury this content entirely from search results and social media feeds.
It is very likely Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms will use these ratings to lower the visibility of content — making nonconformist views disappear entirely. It’s a concerning prospect, especially since NewsGuard received much of its startup funds from Publicis Groupe, a global communications group whose history of clients includes the drug and tobacco industries.
Now more than ever, it’s important to be aware of what companies may be filtering your news media and how their own agenda may color what you see. In your search for the truth, always follow your own guiding light — not one maintained by Snopes or any other internet watchdog or censorship authority that tries to lead you down their own biased path.
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Read the full article at Mercola.com.
1, 3, 4 Full Measure January 6, 2019
2, 10 Snopes January 21, 2019
5, 6, 7, 11 SharylAttkisson.com January 21, 2019