As previously reported, Snopes explained that it contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for its website. Although the contract relationship ended earlier this year, the vendor has refused to acknowledge the contract’s status and continues to essentially hold the website hostage.
“Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.”
While its legal team is working hard, Snopes’ team stated since they have been cut off from all revenue, they are facing the possible outcome of shutting down the website for good. The team decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise $500,000:
“As misinformation has increasingly threatened democracies around the world (including our own), Snopes.com has stood in the forefront of fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online. It is vital that these efforts continue, so we are asking the Snopes.com community to donate what they can.”
“Our firm is proud to represent Bardav, Inc., owner of Snopes. This isn’t just any business dispute. What is at stake here is the survival of a tremendous public resource that has provided critical online fact-checking for more than twenty years. Snopes was rooting out fake news long before ‘fake news” became the big deal it is today.”
Tyrell also noted:
“We’ve argued in court that the public will be harmed if Snopes.com is forced to shut down, Tyrell said. “The outpouring of support in response to the GoFundMe campaign makes it undeniable that the survival of Snopes.com is a matter of public interest.”
The Procopio litigation team added they previously obtained a temporary restraining order that forced Proper Media to release $100,000 to Bardav. They are now seeking a preliminary injunction to cause the release of additional ad revenue and give Bardav control of the Snopes website. The hearing is scheduled for August 4th.
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