Snopes turned to GoFundMe to prevent closing its doors - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Snopes turned to GoFundMe to prevent closing its doors

(WMC) -

The most recognized, and perhaps the most trusted and turned-to, fact-checking site on the internet is in danger of closing.

According to a post on, the fact-checking organization is in a battle over its ability to place advertising on the website. The website is free for anyone to look up claims or information and Snopes said the only revenue source it has comes from advertising.

In a campaign titled "Save Snopes," the message asks for readers to provide a donation of $10 to keep the service up and running.

The GoFundMe, which was created Monday, was seeking to raise $500,000 and in less than two days has raised more than its goal. As of Wednesday afternoon, the site has already raised over $568,000.

"Since our inception, we have always been a self-sustaining site that provides a free service to the online world: we've had no sponsors, no outside investors or funding, and no source of revenue other than that provided by online advertising. Unfortunately, we have been cut off from our historic source of advertising income," Snopes wrote.

The allegations, according to Snopes, is that the outside vendor had a contract with Snopes, but the contract expired. However, Snopes alleges "the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the website hostage."

Bardav Inc, Snopes' parent company, is in a battle with Poynter Media. The battle is over rights to the money driven to the site from advertising.

Snopes said it has authority over the content placed on the site, but does not have the authority to put advertising on it at this moment- which is the source of revenue for the site.

However, in a statement to Poynter, Proper Media disputed some of the allegations being made by Snopes.

Proper Media suggests that the media conduct its own fact-check of the fundraising plea posted today on

First, Proper Media is far more than an “outside vendor” to Bardav, Inc., the company that owns Snopes. In fact, it is a 50% co-owner of Bardav.

Second, in a pending lawsuit, Proper Media has alleged Bardav’s other co-owner, David Mikkelson has engaged in gross financial, technical, and corporate mismanagement, which is reflected in court documents and multiple independent media reports.

Third, as alleged in the lawsuit, Mr. Mikkelson locked out Proper Media from management and control of the company, giving Mr. Mikkelson unfettered access to Bardav’s bank accounts.

Fourth, it is the height of irony that in today’s post, Mr. Mikkelson attempts to rewrite history by saying Snopes “began as a small one-person effort in 1994”—erasing his co-founder, former partner, and wife of many years, Barbara Mikkelson, who owned 50% of Bardav before selling her interest to Proper Media in 2016.

In summary, today’s post only confirms Proper Media’s allegations that Mr. Mikkelson has drained the company’s bank accounts and is unable to operate Snopes profitably without Proper Media’s expertise and management.

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