NEWS & ANALYSIS

BREAKING: Snopes CEO Suspended for Stealing Content & Using Fake Identities, Articles to be Retracted


The CEO and president of Snopes, the website that advertises itself as “the internet’s definitive fact-checking resource” is facing major heat after admitting to plagiarizing dozens of articles. 

A BuzzFeed News investigation found that David Mikkelson was involved in a major plagiarizing scandal that encompassed a whopping 54 pieces, Business Insider reports. 

“Plagiarism undermines our missions and values, full stop,” Snopes executives said in a statement. “It has no place in any context within this organization.” 

Mikkelson’s publishing rights have been revoked, though he remains a 50 percent shareholder and the company’s CEO. 

“I engaged in multiple serious copyright violations of content that Snopes didn’t have rights to use,” Mikkelson said in a statement. “There is no excuse for my serious lapses in judgement. I am sorry.” 

The stolen pieces were taken from outlets like The Guardian, and published under at least three separate bylines.

Mikkelson even set up a pseudonym: Jeff Zarronandia. 

Mikkelson used the pseudonym to “write about topics he knew would get him hate mail under that assumed name,” Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor of Snopes, said. “Plus it made it appear he had more staff than he had.”