The fact-checking website Snopes issued a financial plea to its readers Monday to keep itself going. A GoFundMe donation page for Snopes shows a goal of $500,000 — with $97,000 raised as of 12:30 p.m. PT.
Snopes.com was founded in 1994 and has been debunking urban myths and hoaxes since long before they were called. The website is currently half owned by Proper Media and half by Snopes founder David Mikkelson, via his company Bardav.
In May, Proper Media filed a lawsuit with the California Superior Court in San Diego alleging that Bardav breached its contract. Since then, Proper Media hasn’t allowed Snopes to run advertisements, the website’s main source of revenue.
Bardav countersued, alleging that Proper Media didn’t provide contracted services. Both lawsuits are embedded below.
In a message asking for financial help, Snopes states:
“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.”
In a response to Snopes’ call for donations, Proper Media asks for a fact check to be run on Snopes’ fundraising plea.
“Today’s post only confirms Proper Media’s allegations that Mr. Mikkelson has drained the company’s bank accounts and is unable to operate Snopes profitably without Proper Media’s expertise and management.”