The snopes.com website was founded by Barbara and David
Mikkelson, who live and work in the Los Angeles
area. What they began in 1995 as an expression of their shared interest in researching urban legends has since grown into what is widely regarded by folklorists, journalists, and laypersons alike as one of the World Wide Web's essential resources. Snopes.com is routinely included in annual "Best of the Web" lists and has been the recipient of two Webby
awards. The Mikkelsons have made multiple appearances as guests on national news programs such as 20/20
, ABC World News
, CNN Sunday Morning
, and NPR's All Things Considered
, and they and their work have been profiled
in numerous major news publications, including The New York Times
, the Los Angeles Times
, The Washington Post
, The Wall Street Journal
, and an April 2009 Reader's Digest
feature ("The Rumor Detectives
") published as part of that magazine's "Your America: Inspiring People and Stories" series.
With over 15 years'
experience as professional researchers and writers, the Mikkelsons have created in snopes.com what has come to be regarded as an online touchstone of rumor research. Their work has been described as painstaking, scholarly, and reliable, and has been lauded by the world's top folklorists, including Jan Harold Brunvand
, Gary Alan Fine
, and Patricia Turner
. The couple has been approached by many publishers and publisher's agents about doing a series of books, but they remain uncommitted at this time, preferring instead to continue focusing their efforts on their web site. Nevertheless, hundreds of the Mikkelsons' articles have been cited by authors in a variety of disciplines (an October 2011 search of Google Books for such citations netted 6,230 results
for Barbara Mikkelson alone), and various of their articles have been published in textbooks currently in use in the U.S. and Canadian school systems.
Because snopes.com is all about rumors, it was only a matter of time before rumors began to circulate about it and its operators, such as the following:
Snopes receives funding from an undisclosed source. The source is undisclosed because Snopes refuses to disclose that source. The Democratic Alliance, a funding channel for uber-Leftist (Marxist) Billionaires (George Soros etc.), direct funds to an "Internet Propaganda Arm" pushing these views. The Democratic Alliance has been reported to instruct Fundees to not disclose their funding source.
The snopes.com web site is (and always has been) a completely independent, self-sufficient entity wholly owned by its operators, Barbara and David Mikkelson, and funded through advertising revenues. Neither the site nor its operators has ever received monies from (or been engaged in any business or editorial relationship with), any sponsor, investor, partner, political party, religious group, business organization, government agency, or any other outside group or organization.
Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen and as such cannot vote in U.S. elections, register an affiliation with a U.S. political party, or donate to any U.S. political campaign or candidate. David Mikkelson is an American citizen whose participation in U.S. politics has never extended beyond periodically exercising his civic duty at the ballot box.
As FactCheck confirmed
in April 2009, David is a registered independent who has never donated to, or worked on behalf of, any political campaign or party. The Mikkelsons are wholly apolitical, vastly preferring their quiet scholarly lives in the company of their cats to any political considerations.
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