FACT CHECK: Did Snopes Source an Anonymous Blogger to Challenge the Veracity of an Established News Source?
Did Snopes Source an Anonymous Blogger to Challenge the Veracity of an Established News Source?
Claim: The “fact-checking” website used an unverifiable source who made an unverifiable claim in order to discredit a Daily Mail story.
Origin: Big League Politics caught the political left’s arbiter of truth sourcing an anonymous blogger to discredit the work of a well-respected news outlet. While trying to verify a claim, BLP turned to the trusty truth trackers at Snopes only to find that… they made an unverifiable claim.
October 2, the day after the deadly massacre in Las Vegas, Daily Mail reported a story about a group called Melbourne Antifa praising killer Stephen Paddock as a “comrade” who made “Trump supporting dogs pay.”
The post was deleted after a short time, and subsequently, the entire page was removed from Facebook.
In an effort to carry water for the political left, Snopes rushed to discredit the Antifa page’s validity, claiming that that page was not the “real Melbourne Antifa.”
To verify this claim, Snopes reached out to a truth power-broker, anonymous blogger “slackbastard,” whose (unconfirmed) real name is supposedly Andy Fleming.
Feeling uncomfortable with trusting an anonymous blogger, Big League Politics reached out to Mr. slackbastard to find out how he – and consequently Snopes – knew the Melbourne Antifa page was fake. It turns out, they know because… well… they just know:
Mr. slackbastard gave a number of reasons why we should believe him and Snopes’ version of the events.
- He lives in Melbourne. (Obviously he knows everyone in Melbourne).
- He’s been “participating in anti-fascist activism for years.” (One can only imagine the amount of brain damage caused by such activity, which actually tends to discredit his claims further).
- He “knows other anti-fascists in Melbourne.”
- Finally, the page was a “garbagefire.” (Garbage fire spelled as one word).
Not to worry, though. In case readers were skeptical of an anonymous blogger’s opinion on whether an Antifa Facebook account was fake, Snopes also linked to a BuzzFeed story which says that some Antifa Twitter accounts are fake. Close enough, right?
On a serious note, Facebook works with Snopes to “fact check” news stories. If Snopes rates a story as “False,” Facebook will notify the user that the story is false if he or she has shared that story. Numerous “False” stories, rated as such by Snopes, can lead to de-platforming of news sources.
Big League Politics reached out to Facebook to ask how it fact checks the fact checkers, but Facebook did not return a request for comment.