Snopes fact-checks its own co-founder, catches him plagiarizing 54 articles following internal review

The co-founder of the liberal fact-checking website Snopes was caught plagiarizing in dozens of articles, according to an internal review.

BuzzFeed News reported on Friday that David Mikkelson, executive editor of the site, had lifted material from outlets like The Los Angeles Times, Reuters and The Guardian in various reports published between 2015-2019.

Snopes launched a probe looking into the plagiarism allegations after BuzzFeed News sent inquiries to the fact-checker. Their investigation concluded Mikkelson plagiarized in a whopping 54 articles under his own name, a pseudonym “Jeff Zarronandia,” and the generic Snopes staff in the byline.

Doreen Marchionni, Snopes vice president of editorial and managing editor, suspended Mikkelson pending “a comprehensive internal investigation. However, he remains an officer and a 50% shareholder of the company.

“Let us be clear: Plagiarism undermines our mission and values, full stop. It has no place in any context within this organization,” Marchionni wrote with Snopes COO Vinny Green in a joint statement published by BuzzFeed News. – READ MORE