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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Three Glaring Examples Proving Snopes and the AP Have No Business Being Official ‘Fact Checkers’

Matt Agorist
The Free Thought Project

Snopes and the Associated Press have been given power over social media to define truth but they are often wrong and the consequences are grave. 

Before the 2016 election, people freely chose their sources for information, had discussions about the veracity and accuracy of those sources if they chose to question them, and then formed opinions based on those discussions. Now, however, this choice and discussion is quickly fading away and is being replaced by a seeming ministry of truth made up of ostensibly objective media outlets like Politifact, Snopes, and the Associated Press.

For years, Snopes has been debunking articles and giving them questionable ratings because of their content, but this was never a big deal because readers like ours are smart enough to question Snopes and read the facts for themselves to make up their own minds.

While our readers are still smart enough to check multiple sources and keep us honest, the power of Snopes and the rest of the “fact checkers” has grown immensely and ominously. Now, Snopes, the AP, and Politifact have woven themselves into the fabric of social media and have become the be all end all of “truth.” As a result of this new cozy relationship, they have the power to silence anyone they deem to be false—facts and reality be damned.

What’s more, if these new arbiters of online truth do deem content to be “false,” whether it is or not, the victims have zero recourse to challenge them and will see social media reach—no matter if it took years to build up—throttled and subsequently turned off.

But they are doing a service to weed out fake news, right? While Snopes and the like certainly do debunk many fake stories, the idea of solely relying on them for the truth is chilling. 

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