Snopes

Fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online.

The Problem

Fake news, rumors, misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, pure ignorance, lies and half-truths: we're inundated online, and especially on social media, with less-than-credible information. And though we like to think we can tell the difference between fact and fiction, the evidence suggests otherwise. Worse still, new research suggests that "false news travels faster, farther and deeper through the social network than true news." If this were just a matter of celebrity gossip, it wouldn't matter so much; but increasingly, false information concerns issues of fundamental political importance -- issues that speak to how we understand ourselves and each other and that affect how we vote (or don't vote). When the public knows less, understands less, and is less in touch with basic reality, democracy is at risk.

The Solution

Since its founding as a one-person operation in 1994, Snopes has grown to become one of the best known and most respected fact-checking sites on the Internet. Conceived as a reference source for urban legends, it has steadily expanded its remit, and now a small team of researchers and writers analyze and investigate“ common fallacies, misinformation, old wives’ tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items,” although political fact-checking makes up a large portion of their work. They use distinctive colored icons to classify items, including “True,” “Mostly True,” "False," "Mostly False," "Scam" and "Legend." Historically a independent entity wholly owned by its operators and receiving no funding in any form, Snopes recently launched a public donation campaign after being temporarily cut off from its traditional source of advertising revenue. Donations will enable the site to continue its work "in the forefront of fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online."

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Snopes

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