When readers first hear the story of Snopes raising funds because their website’s domain is reportedly being held hostage by a person who is keeping all their advertising revenue, it sounds like the kind of hoax that would be debunked by Snopes themselves. The story even appeared under the “hoax alert” section on Lead Stories, in an article titled “Snopes.com Locked Out Of Advertising Revenue And Requesting Donations.” However, the article is simply categorized under the “hoax alert” category, since Snopes is known for alerting the public to hoaxes.
This is one report that doesn’t appear to be a hoax, since Snopes and SaveSnopes.com are explaining why the Snopes site needs help to survive. SaveSnopes.com explains that Snopes began as a one-person shop in 1994 and has grown to be the most popular and oldest hoax-busting website on the world wide web. As reported by Who.Is, the Snopes.com URL was registered on January 9, 1997. The expiration date is listed until January 8, 2025, so the registrar has Snopes.com locked up for quite some years to come. The only public information about the registrar is that the person is hidden behind the Perfect Privacy, LLC out of Jacksonville, Florida. Who.Is shows that SaveSnopes.com was just registered on July 20.
— Lead Stories (@LeadStoriesCom) July 24, 2017
According to Snopes, the website has been cut off from their “historic source of advertising income” due to an outside vendor that provided services for Snopes. Snopes claims that the vendor’s contract with the site expired in 2017 but is, in essence, holding the Snopes website hostage, and won’t allow them to advertise.
Instead, the vendor is using his or her own advertising and collecting the monies, says Snopes.
Snopes and “Team Snopes” have turned to the readers to gain funds to keep the site going. Snopes wrote that while they still have editorial control of Snopes, they might not always have the ability to update their own website while the legal battle over the Snopes.com URL continues.
Snopes also noted that donations to the GoFundMe campaign do not give those who donate any rights to the website.
Snopes is just an amateur web site run by these two partisan bloggers out of their living room: pic.twitter.com/3MGUZR3l0X
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) July 20, 2017
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]