Snopsing Snopes

Claim
In August 2021, Snopes’ co-founder and CEO David Mikkelson was revealed to be a serial plagiarizer, sloppily violating copyrights of other publications in an attempt to make the site look extremely proactive in uncovering news.
Rating
A snopes-like 'True' checkmark.
True

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To the Moon

I Look At a Lot of Articles to find just the right mix for each weekly This is True column. Naturally, the vast majority are discarded, and I have to tell you about one that didn’t make the cut. It has a lot to do with “cognitive processes” …aka thinking.

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Facebook: What Are They Selling?

To answer the very important question of the title, you need a little background, which is illustrated by a question from reader Steve in Texas:

Some time ago, I “Liked” the This is True Facebook page, but almost never see any posts. I figured you weren’t active until I went back to the page, and saw a ton of stuff I thought was great! How come I’m not seeing it regularly? I see most posts from my friends.

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Ethics Train Wreck

Last week, my BS-o-Meter failed, and a fake story made it into This is True. It has happened a few times over the past 18 years of weekly columns, but luckily only a few times. Let’s start with the story, from True’s 5 August 2012 issue:

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Twitter: Why You Should Care

Chris in Washington asks:

Randy: you’ve mentioned Twitter a couple of times, and I see you have a link on TRUE’s home page to your Twitter page. I’ve looked at Twitter a couple of times, and I just don’t get it. Do people really care that their friends (or favorite celebrities) are “Waking up to face the day.” or “Eating a bologna sandwich for lunch.”? Why?

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Expanding True’s Sources

A quick note about This is True’s story sources. When I started True, I wanted my stories to be from “mainstream, legitimate newspapers” — with an early addition being the weekly news magazines (like Time and Newsweek). I’ve always stayed away from broadcast sources, since I always want a printed version of a story to rely on.

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