Snopes, the fact-checking site founded in 1995 by a husband and wife team, emerged during a different era of the internet. Back then, misinformation traveled through chain e-mails and the site concerned itself with conspiracy theories that sound practically quaint by today’s standards: Bigfoot sightings; alligators crawling through our sewers; baby spiders that live in a woman’s hairdo and eat her brains.
A quarter century later, the internet is far more grim — and the conspiracy theories are a lot less fun. Snopes has evolved to meet the moment, writes Colin Dickey at GEN, but at what cost?
Snopes was built around the idea that debunking myths could be both fun and empowering, without understanding what bad-faith actors have long known: that embracing conspiracy theories can also perversely offer those same rewards. Snopes is no longer here to reassure us and remind us the world is safe; it’s part of a chorus of voices desperately pushing back against a dangerous tide of violence far more real than hook-handed serial killers. Such work is as dreary as it is Sisyphean.
Read the full story here: