What used to be the premium site for fact-checking has become a tool for Partisan Politics
This kills me to write.
For 20+ years I was one of Snopes’ biggest defenders.
This website taught me how to read the news, urban legends, and rumors and think critically. Before Snopes, I truly believed kids died of pop rocks and soda; Elvis was a racist; Flipping on your high beams was a recipe for death from gang initiates. For the longest time, they seemed impartial and many on the Right-wing hated them because they were bitter that their BS was called out.
But now? I am beginning to believe they think life and politics hold only one perspective and anything else was “Fake News” and a possible Russian plot to make Trump GodEmperor4Lyfe. In fact, they have declared war on satire sites because they feel it’s important everyone embraces one ideology (or they think everyone is just *THAT* stupid).
So here are the following examples I have noticed where people posted a Snopes link in my Facebook comments to imply something I posted was “Fake News,” when, in fact, it wasn’t.
1) Were an American Couple Killed by Isis While Trying to ‘Prove Humans Are Kind’?
“There is no evidence Austin and Geoghegan were aware of any terrorist threat in Tajikistan, or that they travelled through that region particularly in order to vindicate their belief in human kindness.”
Now, this appears to be edited since the time someone posted this in my Facebook comments. It used to be marked “FALSE”, now Snopes is settling for splitting hairs over the true intention of the Millenial Cyclists, and calling it a “Mixture”. My intention of posting this was to make it clear to the many doe-eyed, idealistic morons on my friends’ list, is that the world is NOT a safe place. There are dangerous corners of the world, and not everything is like a festival in San Francisco. You venture to these places, and you don’t look like everyone else there… you will be a victim. Robbery, rape, murder, human sex trafficking, organ harvesting, kidnapping, you name it. In America, we take for granted how clean and safe our environment is. Many people think the rest of the world is that way.
Maybe you should ask a Jewish person how limited their world-traveling can be.
After someone posted this link to inform me that I was committing the grave sin of “Spreading Fake News,” I quickly went to the cyclist’s blog site where they stated the following:
” You watch the news and you read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place. People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. People are axe [sic] murderers and monsters and worse.
I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own—it’s easier to dismiss an opinion as abhorrent than strive to understand it. Badness exists, sure, but even that’s quite rare.”
If anything, this opened my eyes to a NEW kind of White Privilege. The one where you think every place is as nice as the gentrified neighborhood you just moved yourself and your gluten-free latte-maker into.
Seriously people… just be careful.
You have no idea how good we have it in America.
2) Hitchhiker Killed by Muslims?
“While the Yes I’m Right story was based on a New York Times article published in April 2008, the web site made no attempt to inform its readers that the incident had taken place over eight years earlier and that they were republishing a years-old story with no clarification about when it occurred…
As the incident occurred eight years ago and Turkey is an officially secular country, it’s not clear how Yes I’m Right concluded (despite the statements from law enforcement and her own family) that Bacca had been killed over religion.”
Again, like the one above, they are splitting hairs over petty details like the date of the occurrence and the possible religious orientation of Pippa Bacca’s rapist(s)/murderer(s). They concede she was trying to promote peace. Given that Turkey’s flag has a crescent moon and star in it, I would say it is not exactly a “secular country,” Snopes. According to the Turkish government, 99.8% of the Turkish population is Muslim (although some sources give a slightly lower estimate of 96.4 percent). And while we don’t know who did it, it’s pretty reasonable to assume the culprit(s) were of the Muslim variety?
“We don’t know for sure” is not the same as “nope, this is false!”. You can draw a reasonable conclusion based on available facts and evidence.
The point is, some naive “flower-power” type thought the world was like the safe environment they have always lived around and had a rude awakening. Sure this could happen to anyone hitch-hiking, but aren’t we seeing a pattern with these peaceniks going to dangerous places to “prove us wrong”, only to have the exact opposite happen yet?
Look, I have met many Muslims in my life, and most have been warm and kind. (One even brought in an entire feast for our office to share to mark the end of Eid.). I know better to paint Islamic people with a broad brush like Right-wingers tend to do… but could it just be possible, that maybe, just maybe… many of these Muslim-majority countries aren’t safe for women to be traveling alone in, given their Bronze-age views towards women?
Also, I saw “Midnight Express”.
You couldn’t pay me to travel to Turkey without bodyguards.
3) Does This Photo Show a Toddler in a Cage Detained by ICE in 2018?
“However, as it turned out, the photograph was taken on 10 June 2018, but it did not show a child confined by immigration authorities to a cage. Rather, it was snapped during a protest staged in front of Dallas City Hall to call attention to the Trump administration’s practice of separating families and confining undocumented children.”
Now you know DARNED WELL this has made the rounds on social media and has been used consistently by the Left to support their “Children in Cages” narrative. (No, children aren’t in cages. What we see are misleading closeups of a “holding pen”). Had the Right-wing been this duplicitous, Snopes would have slapped them down with all their fury. As you read the article, clearly you see this crying child is actually part of a protest demonstration, and he is neither held by ICE or even in a cage against his will.
So it’s marked “False,” right?
(Even Politifact does)
Although clearly, there is ZERO truth to this picture, they want to soften the blow to any well-meaning people who are using this picture for their Liberal agendas.
“Oh hey, guys, I don’t want to upset your righteous anger, but it’s not as ‘TRUE’ as you would like it to be. Don’t be mad now.”
4) Is an ‘ Obama Don’t Separate Me From My Mommy ‘ Protest Sign Real?
“This is indeed a genuine photograph that was taken during the Obama era in 2014. However, there major differences between the immigration policy at the center of the pictured protest and the child detention centers that were at the center of public outrage in June 2018.
In a nutshell: Families were separated under President Barack Obama as the result of deportation of undocumented people from the United States. Families were separated under President Donald Trump as parents and children were put into different detention facilities after they crossed the border to ask for asylum in the United States.”
This one is the exact opposite of the one above. Yes, this sign is real. This was a real issue, not from being separated at the border, but from deportations.
However, it is also marked “MIXTURE” because of how it is used. And it really leads you to believe Snopes is running interference for the Democratic Party.
Kids are STILL being separated from their parents… instead of a holding pen a few hundred yards away, now it’s thousands of miles.
As sad as I find this separation of children and parents (and if you know my back history, you’d understand), the fact is, they are separating the children at the border for a reason. There is a rising surge of people kidnapping children to pose as families, in the hopes of getting through the border. And DNA testing of many of these suspected families is showing 1/3 of the children aren’t related.
So what do you find more reprehensible?
Children separated from “parents” until proven otherwise, or kidnapped children being used to sneak in by criminals and then heaven-knows-what happening to them afterward?
Also, most of the pictures of “kids in cages” that everyone is upset over are actually from 2014 (during the Obama administration), despite Snopes insisting Obama never separated families (which I can now no longer find on Snopes, but was used quite often in debates).
5) Did a Pennsylvania Daycare Receive a Racist Letter About a Black Employee?
“Multiple social media users shared images of a letter they say was anonymously sent to the facility.”
I saved the best for last, because this is the entry that opened my eyes to Snopes and how they play with words, and frame things to suit one particular side of the political aisle. A daycare center in Whitehall, PA gets a letter complaining about a Black employee, and the phrase “make your daycare great again,” made it seem pretty obvious this racist person was a Trump supporter. The “multiple social media users” were just the daycare owner’s son and daughter… (so it’s not a “wide group of random witnesses verifying this act,” like Snopes is leading you to believe. More on that later.).
Hmm. If only people knew someone who lived in the area of this daycare center to give you an idea of how this is a complete hoax…
OH WAIT! YOU DO!
ME!!! I LIVED IN WHITEHALL, PA!
For three years, this was the location of the “Casa de Brooksy” as I worked surveying land for an oil company. I can tell you with all honesty, this must be the most diverse area I have lived in all my life (and by “diverse,” I am using the word correctly) it was easily 40% White, 30% Black, 20% Syrian, and 10% Hispanic and others. My next-door neighbor knew Barack Obama as a teenager in Kenya, and during the 2012 election was screaming as if her own cousin was just re-elected as President.
It would be insane to conceive that someone would have a concern about a Black person in this area. In fact, the daycare owner, Dominique McKelley, even says she has several Black employees.
And believe me, this was definitely NOT a Trump-supporting area.
And, ironically, Snopes has the most-likely culprit featured right in their article.
The one who spread this all over the internet via Twitter.
The one discussed in the comments of the Morning Call article about the event.
THE DAYCARE OWNER’S DAUGHTER, LEXI MCKELLEY.
There was quite a long thread by author Thomas Wictor who reportedly exposed Lexi as a fraud, a webpage by another unraveling the mystery scooby doo-style.
Sadly all of this has been lost to the memory hole as Thomas Wictor’s entire social media presence has been wiped out of existence in one of big-tech’s purges of right-wingers.
And since Ms. McKelley has never been arrested or convicted of this alleged hate crime (and yes, I agree it’s a hate crime), I try to word this all very carefully.
But if you use Occam’s Razor, see who is closest to the dumpster fire, who was enjoying all the attention, and who benefits the most from it… it’s rather crystal clear.
But don’t hold your breath for Snopes to try and bring the truth.
They worded it as “Did this actually happen?”, so any attempts to call this a hoax is immediately shut down by the people who want to see racism everywhere.
I have tried to explain to people online how this was hard to believe, given the racial composition of the area. But I got the usual shouting down by SJW-types.
What do I know, I only lived in this area, right?
Now don’t get me wrong, I have met some really dim-witted Right Wingers that still believe bullshit like “they found WMDs in Iraq,” and “they are using aborted babies for parts“.
(Okay, stem cell research? maybe… but what use is a heart that is half the size of a lentil on the black market?), and other insane conspiracies… and Fox News has been known for over a decade to spew partisan-skewed stories that barely resembled the truth.
But they aren’t the only ones.
CNN and MSNBC seem to be on the same mission of spreading partisan-based propaganda, we now have an industry of “Outrage News” online, where clickbait, shares, and visits generate tons of revenue from people looking to soothe their confirmation bias.
- Where was Snopes when the kids from Covington HS were being crucified by the media, and Nathan Phillips gave his side of the story that was NOTHING like the events we all saw in the longer video?
- Or when a woman nearly lost her business and reputation when people on Facebook posted a misleading picture of her talking to a young man about immigration, and they made it look as though she was hatefully screaming at him? (The kid actually had to come forward and clear it up as people were doxxing her and threatening her and her business)
- How about when the Young Turks published a news piece about the Black church in Greenville, Mississippi burning down with “Vote Trump” written on the side and ridiculed any idea that it might not have been a Trump supporter or the hate crime it was made to look like?
- Or when Shaun King falsely accused someone on his Facebook page of being a white supremacist and murdering a young Black girl?
- Or hell, most of what Shaun King puts out to get the SJW crowd riled up that later turns out to be false? (and this guy is supposed to be a journalist?)
- Or any number of articles by THE RAW STORY* that is immediately called out by readers as having a misleading headline that says the exact opposite of the story?
*Oh wait. Arturo Garcia was a writer for THE RAW STORY and is now a fact-checker for Snopes. That explains a lot.
Point is, the falsehoods are coming from both sides, and even foreign powers are joining in. We need an impartial fact-checker now more than ever.
Unfortunately, Snopes seems obsessed with Satire and anything that might help Trump get re-elected. Lord help us!