Is the internet’s original myth debunking website all just a hoax that needs to be debunked? That’s what a number of people and a few websites have been claiming since the 2008 US presidential election. Some have even created Snopes debunking videos on YouTube. When you check the website links to these videos, however, and interesting thing happens. You receive a 404 error, which means the content that is supposed to support the video is no longer published.
In watching the videos, however, there is one fact that cannot be ignored: there isn’t any actual information being provided to debunk Snopes.
Snopes Is Run By a Couple in California
David and Barbara Mikkelson run Snopes and they started the website because of all the email hoaxes and conspiracies that were going on at the time. When they started the website, they didn’t have any formal background in investigations. That much is completely true. Questioning their skills of investigation or looking for a personal bias is something legitimate for users of Snopes to do – as it should be for any other website.
If the goal is to test all information, then here’s an interesting fact: the videos that debunk Snopes claim that the reason why Snopes is wrong is because the events at Sandy Hook Elementary were all made up. That’s right – government conspiracies, where there is no tangible evidence being had, is the basis for why Snopes deserves to be debunked on the internet today. If we’re processing facts, not opinions, then that just doesn’t hold up either.
Is Snopes Slanted Toward the Democratic Party?
This part of the Snopes debunked conversation all depends on one’s personal opinions. According to the Mikkelson’s, they apply the same debunking standards to both sides of the American political spectrum. To say that the couple is trying to vote a certain way or have certain political leanings would not be entirely accurate. Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen, so she doesn’t have the ability to vote in US elections.
Then there’s the fact that Snopes gets complaints that they are too conservative sometimes as well. If you’re getting complaints that you are too liberal and too conservative, then there’s a good chance that you’re doing something right.
As for the Mikkelson’s trying to do all of this in secrete, that is completely false. They have done many interviews over the years. Reader’s Digest did a feature on them. David Brady of the Los Angeles Times posted Mikkelson’s picture in the newspaper in 1995, told everyone that his cyberspace name wa “Snopes,” and that he spent much of his time debunking urban legends.
It’s easy to see how one’s personal opinions could make it seem like Snopes.com deserves to be debunked. In reality, it’s just a website that a couple runs because it is something they love to do. You can choose to agree or disagree with the information that they provide.