Snopes has long been an institution on the internet, being used by many a web surfer to debunk phony chain emails and other hoaxes. More recently, it’s become a way to debunk the scores of fake news stories that circulate on social media.
In fact, here at Memeburn, we’ve recommended that you bookmark Snopes in order to fight fake news, along with several other tools and services.
No ad to show here.
Now, the website, established in 1994, has announced that it needs financial help, owing to a dispute over advertising.
“Snopes.com, which began as a small one-person effort in 1994 and has since become one of the internet’s oldest and most popular fact-checking sites, is in danger of closing its doors,” reads an excerpt of a letter to the community.
The team explains that it has only relied on advertising income, having no sponsors or outside investors. Unfortunately, it has been “cut off” from its advertising income.
“We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage,” the team continues.
“Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.”
Snopes is calling on its readers to donate funds due to a legal battle over advertising revenue
The team says that it continues to fight a legal battle, but risks the prospect of running out of cash to operate the site and pay legal fees (as well as staff).
In the meantime, Snopes has requested that users donate to the cause to keep the site going, using a donate prompt at the top or bottom of the letter. “Our suggested donation is $10, but if you can give more please consider doing so — every little bit helps,” the team notes.
Featured image: Save Snopes