Snopes has come under severe criticism for a flagrant attack on satirical news outlet The Babylon Bee.
Social media users roasted the supposedly unbiased fact-checking site for its campaign against the Christian satire website which was accused of misleading its readers.
Snopes was slammed as a bully in its ongoing, inexplicable wrangle with the Bee as it has tried to discredit the site on several occasions, giving stories a “false” rating though the Christian outlet bills itself as “the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims.”
After weeks of attempts by Snopes to effectively question whether the Bee’s work is even satire, leading the outlet to seek legal representation, the “fact-checker” finally added a “Labeled Satire” option to its rating system. But just as quickly, Snopes re-ignited the issue with a renewed attack on Friday.
“Stories published by The Babylon Bee were among the most shared factually inaccurate content in almost every survey of this research,” the site declared.
Stories published by The Babylon Bee were among the most shared factually inaccurate content in almost every survey of this research. https://t.co/x96rPCl1w9
— snopes.com (@snopes) August 16, 2019
The article and Snopes’ apparent inability to understand satire – or even leave the Babylon Bee alone – began trending on Twitter.
Fact Check: False
Babylon Bee is a satire website
Snopes seems to think its a real news website that publishes factually inaccurate information
Snopes ate the onion https://t.co/Bnwn4pNAfj
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) August 17, 2019
Find something in your life you hate as much as some schmuck at Snopes hates the Babylon Bee.
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) August 16, 2019
Has there ever been a site suffering more butt hurt than Snopes over success of the Babylon Bee? https://t.co/0SRnIIKnUk
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 16, 2019
Keep telling me Snopes don’t have a personal vendetta against Babylon Bee. This would be a good time to bring that argument up. https://t.co/6TPmyeZho5
— neontaster (@neontaster) August 16, 2019
Snopes apparently did not learn a lesson after coming under fire for calling out The Babylon Bee for spreading fake news, and using satire as a vehicle. The site had already been slammed for issuing a “false” rating for a Babylon Bee article that caused Facebook to issue a warning – for which it later apologized.
Really, Facebook?? pic.twitter.com/HEtBc7C0Gz
— Adam Ford (@Adam4d) March 2, 2018
But Snopes seemed to double down in the report published Friday, attempting to justify its attacks on The Bee.
“Our team of communication researchers has spent years studying misinformation, satire and social media,” the report read. “Over the last several months, we’ve surveyed Americans’ beliefs about dozens of high-profile political issues. We identified news stories – both true and false – that were being shared widely on social media. We discovered that many of the false stories weren’t the kind that were trying to intentionally deceive their readers; they actually came from satirical sites, and many people seemed to believe them.”
The article claimed that “understanding online political satire isn’t easy,” and that satirical sites often “mimic the tone and appearance of news sites.”
“Our study on misinformation and social media lasted six months. Every two weeks, we identified 10 of the most shared fake political stories on social media, which included satirical stories. Others were fake news reports meant to deliberately mislead readers,” Snopes reported, apparently attempting to appear objective while adding that “stories published by The Bee were among the most shared factually inaccurate content in almost every survey we conducted.”
Man, I honestly thought we were done with the whole Snopes saga and then they commission a friggin’ survey asking if people believe our articles.
— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) August 16, 2019
Snopes then pointed out some “patterns” when scrutinizing The Bee, effectively concluding that more Republicans were duped by their stories than Democrats.
That survey @snopes shared is horrible. Did they seriously paraphrase Bee stories and ask people if they thought they were true? That’s an awful way to figure out what percentage of people will believe satire. pic.twitter.com/tDHnTx4h41
— Kyle Mann (@The_Kyle_Mann) August 16, 2019
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) August 17, 2019
The Babylon Bee responded to the latest barb with its own takedown, which was celebrated on Twitter.
Snopes Rates Babylon Bee World’s Most Accurate News Sourcehttps://t.co/LbnWL0pYfX
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) August 16, 2019
Is Snopes a parody account now too?
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) August 16, 2019
Dear Left: This is what happens when you never laugh.?
— Grace (@GraceStrength) August 16, 2019
Didn’t think this is how WW3 would begin, but here we are…
— TRUTH (@theuncommonfan) August 16, 2019
@snopes is now the world’s leading authority on Just Asking For It.
— Sam Hawkins (@Samuel_Hawkins1) August 16, 2019
This is so embarrassing. I’m not sure if anyone can tell snopes from a parody of a fact-checking site at this point. https://t.co/Deceqtm2hD
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) August 17, 2019
Sometimes satire is easy to spot, says Snopes, sometimes not, which is apparently why they fact checked whether CNN actually purchased a wash machine to spin the news. pic.twitter.com/AwJMIrXlac
— Molly Ratty (@molratty) August 16, 2019
It is so cute how Snopes can’t handle that conservatives are funny https://t.co/4YqtwGMZDN
— Spencer A. Klavan (@SpencerKlavan) August 16, 2019
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