An ongoing legal storm has prompted the fact-checking website Snopes.com to turn to fans for a financial life-preserver.
A GoFundMe fundraiser page called “Save Snopes” was created Monday by its team with the goal of raising $500,000. The reason: Snopes’ parent company, Bardav Inc., is in a protracted legal battle with Proper Media revolving around the site’s management and the rightful allocation of advertising revenue.
“Since our inception, we have always been a self-sustaining site that provides a free service to the online world: we’ve had no sponsors, no outside investors or funding, and no source of revenue other than that provided by online advertising. Unfortunately, we have been cut off from our historic source of advertising income,” a statement published on GoFundMe reads in part.
“We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage. Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.”
“Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.”
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