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josie's avatar

Is Snopes a reliable fact checker?

Asked by josie (30931points) March 26th, 2019

I use Snopes as my go-to fact checker.

But I have heard from some of my friends that Snopes “has an agenda” and that the site’s information is no longer reliable.

Since everybody is saying that about everything these days I am a little skeptical.

Thought I would get opinions

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13 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I like Snopes, I usually find them to be pretty fair, and often they cite reputable sources. I usually hear that they “have an agenda” by angry people (of both sides) who simply don’t agree and don’t want to listen.

zenvelo's avatar

Snopes is considered objective and unbiased, except by certain right wing groups. Drudge Report, Breitbart, and InfoWars have all criticized Snopes because it regularly points out false stories on those websites.

But Snopes has also called out left wing distortions and inaccuracies.

jca2's avatar

I like Snopes and I like that it quotes sources, and reliable sources (not media sites that are right wing or left wing).

Yellowdog's avatar

I don’t know of any agenda that snopes has. But it is not ALWAYS accurate. I’ve known it to be factually incorrect a couple of times. But you will still learn some facts about what you are looking up on Snopes that you probably didn’t know.

seawulf575's avatar

One thing I have noticed about SNOPES is that they tend to slant things. Let’s say you have a question about whether a person said something or not. And let’s say the person actually said the thing and the thing was somewhat unflattering for the speaker. If the person is a conservative, they will rule it as TRUE and they will proceed to show where and when that person said the thing. Now if the person is a liberal, they will rule it as PARTIALLY TRUE and they will then come out with some statement that yes, the person actually did say that, but then will try justifying why that person said it.
Also, it is my understanding that SNOPES doesn’t really have good guidance or oversight of how things are judged.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. I especially like how they list every tiny one of their sources so you can follow up and do your own research. At first I used to do just that because I don’t trust anyone, but they always checked out.
Conservatives tend to think they’re biased because so often their claims, especially of persecution, show up as false. For example, the Tennessee school district did not ban displaying the American flag on campuses.

Delta Airlines does not prohibit Jews or Bibles from their flights.

Barack and Michelled did not salute the flag with their left hand

And there are some disappointments. Trump never said Republicans are the dumbest group of voters.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“They have an agenda” = “I don’t want to hear what they have to say. It does not conform to my worldview”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Who is “they” @Darth_Algar?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh wait. Never mind. I got you.


Zaku's avatar

I think they’re usually pretty good, and I don’t think they “have an agenda” intentionally, but I do think they tend to stop researching when they find some mainstream information… and mainstream information may be manufactured (e.g. when a very large corporation and/or political engine has ideas they want maintained or squashed, they often buy/threaten researchers and/or mainstream media who publish credible-looking misleading articles, which Snopes often won’t try to penetrate).

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think they started out as objective and unbiased and I still think they are about the best single resource for lazy, quick fact checking. I do believe now there is a hint of bias, especially on the more politically charged issues where the truth is fuzzy.

Caravanfan's avatar

As a skeptic it is my first go-to site.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When they’re making an educated guess, @ARE_you_kidding_me, they tell you that up front, and explain the reason behind that “guess.”
Otherwise they’ll say “Not proven.”

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