Breaking: Snopes Gets Thousands a Minute on GoFundMe Scam Begging For Big Cash

By Erin Elizabeth

There’s big news out tonight about Snopes and in the current #fakenews era that we find ourselves living in, we should pay attention.

For many years, Snopes did a good job of busting urban myths that your Grandma sent out via email. For instance, no, Disney was not giving out free tickets to the first 100 people to forward an email and other beauties like “Woman accidentally confuses foam insulation for mousse.” They were helpful. However, they got a little big for their britches and started telling us what we could and couldn’t believe. Snopes, who anointed themselves as God of what is true and false, started tackling controversial stories and proclaiming they were the absolute authority on truth.

They even tried to take us down. Tried being the operative word.

They failed at debunking a story we did about a missing medical doctor whose vehicle was found on the side of the road. Their snooty disparaging piece tried to correct our CORRECT location of the good doctor with the false one. We called them out in a video showing their site and they quietly changed the piece. Zero apologies to us (or the doctor’s family) and alas, he’s still missing. Thanks, Snopes.

RELATED ARTICLE: Snopes Outed as Unfit to Arbiter ‘Truth’

And then they got busted. In fact, it’s been alleged that David Mikkelson has engaged in “gross financial, technical, and corporate mismanagement.”  He’s been accused of fraud and embezzlement of his own company for illegal activity (we needn’t say for what as it’s pretty graphic!) in official court documents. Perhaps that’s part of why they find themselves in the predicament they are in now.

Earlier today they put out a call asking for help- in the form of money. And mainstream media were quick to jump on board with this crooked website and encourage people to actually give them money! Can you IMAGINE?

Why do they need money? Here’s a breakdown of what’s been going on:

  • Snopes signs a contract with Popular Media to utilize their IT/advertising software.
  • Founders Barbara and David, go through a bitter divorce and each walk away with 50% of the Snopes parent company, Bardav.
  • Five major shareholders at Popular Media covertly purchase Barbara’s shares at an exorbitant price.
  • CEO of Snopes, David, immediately revokes Popular Media’s contract and cuts them out of various different parts of the companies daily routine. (“Mid-contract, Proper made an aggressive bid for control, paying what Mikkelson said was an “exorbitant” price for the other half of the company. The contract with Proper was one that could be canceled at any time by either party, and that’s what Mikkelson says he did, as part of his everyday job as President of the company. Even if Proper’s owners were on the Bardav board (they aren’t, he noted), their permission wouldn’t be necessary because it’s not a board-level decision, and anyway, they would have to recuse themselves for conflict of interest.” 1)
  • Popular Media retaliates by freezing Snopes access to all of their advertising revenue and their servers.
  • Then, Vincent Green (a former minor shareholder at Popular Media) leaves them and goes to work at Snopes. Popular Media responds by filing a suit claiming that Green and David conspired to somehow short the other shareholders at Popular Media, out of their ownership of the Snopes parent company.
  • Snopes pleads for $500,000 dollars to keep running.
  • Proper Media asks for a fact check to be run on Snopes’ fundraising plea: “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.” 2

It’s like a terrible, middle school drama.

RELATED ARTICLE: Forbes does Damning Piece on Snopes After they are Exposed for “Fraud and Embezzlement”

To many people, it looks like a hostile takeover by Popular Media, and while I don’t know them, I do know David and he’s not a standup guy- I don’t think he’d know “truth” if it smacked him in the face. And even media analyst, Thomas Baekdal isn’t buying it saying on Twitter:

According to our friends at The Free Thought Project:

“Snopes, as a business — is not broke. David Mikkelson — who’s been accused of defrauding the website to pay for prostitution — is broke.

Snopes’ estimated value is in the tens of millions, with a daily revenue intake around five figures — a day. They are currently ranked in the top 2,600 websites globally as well as being in the top 700 domestically. The behemoth ‘fact-checker’ is nowhere near being broke.

However, thanks to a dirty divorce between David Mikkelson and his ex-wife Barbara Mikkelson, the company has turned into a glorious shit show.”

None of this is ANYTHING anyone should be throwing money at. They made their proverbial bed and they should have to lie in it. (Pun intended.)

Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is less than 2 years old but has already cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

This article (Breaking: Snopes Gets Thousands a Minute on GoFundMe Scam Begging For Big Cash) was originally published on Health Nut News and syndicated by The Event Chronicle

More from The Free Thougtht Project:

They Are NOT Broke—Snopes’ GoFundMe Is a Scam To Fund a Dirty Divorce

The fact checking website, Snopes, has launched a GoFundMe, claiming to be broke. But if we look behind the scenes, we see what’s really going on.

By Matt Agorist

Snopes is in trouble. According to a self-launched fund raiser, the ostensible fact-checking website, founded in 1994, is on the financial ropes and needs your support to stay open. A GoFundMe for the supposed hoax-debunking site has since been setup and is going viral. If it continues raising money at this current rate, it will easily surpass its goal of $500,000 by the end of the day.

While Twitter followers flock en masse to throw money at David Mikkelson, one of the controlling partners in the Snopes business, they’d do well to understand why it is he has no money.

Snopes, as a business — is not broke. David Mikkelson — who’s been accused of defrauding the website to pay for prostitution — is broke.

Snopes’ estimated value is in the tens of millions, with a daily revenue intake around five figures — a day. They are currently ranked in the top 2,600 websites globally as well as being in the top 700 domestically. The behemoth ‘fact-checker’ is nowhere near being broke.

However, thanks to a dirty divorce between David Mikkelson and his ex-wife Barbara Mikkelson, the company has turned into a glorious shit show.

If you read their GoFundMe page, David alleges the site is being “held hostage” by a “vendor” it contracted with in 2015 and ended its ties with this spring. He claims that the Snopes site and this “vendor” are engaged in a legal battle that could eliminate their “financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.”

However, as the Nieman Lab at Harvard University reports, that legal battle seems to be an argument between Snopes co-founder David Mikkelson and his ex-wife, Barbara Mikkelson, over control of the company.

The “vendor” mentioned in the GoFundMe is Proper Media, Barbara’s side of the Snopes business venture she began after the divorce in 2015.

Essentially, David Mikkelson is begging for money to fight his ex-wife for control over their fact-checking empire. He even notes this on the GoFundMe page, “(not to mention covering our legal fees).”

As Nieman Lab notes, Snopes parent company Bardav, Inc. and the vendor, Proper Media, filed complaints against each other over issues stemming from that contract termination. Snopes alleges that Proper Media continues to control the advertising on Snopes.com, and is withholding revenue from those ads from the Snopes team. Proper Media, meanwhile, alleges that David Mikkelson “has engaged in a lengthy scheme of concealment and subterfuge to gain control of the company and to drain its profits.”

“Mikkelson was unhappy that Barbara maintained ownership of half of what he always considered to be his company after the divorce,” Proper Media’s original complaint reads. “Thus, after Proper Media’s purchase of Barbara’s share, Mikkelson sought to finally gain control of Bardav by aligning and conspiring with (Vincent) Green.”

Yes, this mudslinging conspiracy talk is actually coming from the people who claim to be the arbiters of online truth.

So, as their supports continue to throw money at the GoFundMe campaign — at the current rate of $30,000 per hour — the reality is, that their efforts are most likely in vain.

As media analyst, Thomas Baekdal pointed out Monday in a series of Tweets, people should — like Snopes tells them to do — remain skeptical.

Nieman Lab reached out to both David Mikkelson’s company and Barbara Mikkelson’s company. However, they only received a reply from Proper Media, Barbara’s venture.

“Proper Media suggests that the media conduct its own fact-check of the fundraising plea posted today on Snopes.com,” Karl Kronenberger, counsel for Proper Media, wrote in an email response. “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.”

What these new revelations show us is that Snopes — a website that gained notoriety for debunking online myths — is a cluster fuck.

Fraud, embezzlement, and using company funds to pay for prostitution are just a sampling of the accusations against the CEO of the fact-checking website.

As TFTP reported last year, in November, David remarried — his new wife is a former porn actress and escort — and is now one of the site’s fact-checkers. As for these accusations, reports the Daily Mail,

“They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of ‘embezzlement’ and suggesting he is attempting a ‘boondoggle’ to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas.”

In a court document from last June, Barbara contended, “He’s been depleting the corporate account by spending monies from it on his personal expenses,” such as purchasing his ‘girlfriend’s’ ticket to Buenos Aires and $10,000 for a “personal vacation” to India.

As Claire Bernish so eloquently pointed out last year, one point incontestably underpinning the personal battle behind the scenes at the company demands an urgent question — with money as the seemingly only motivator, can the public ever be assured Snopes’ checked facts are accurate at all?

Perhaps Snopes has finally been Snoped.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.

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