Home / Be The Change / Flex Your rights / Snopes Conveniently Silent on WaPost’s Dangerous Fake Story About Russia Hacking US Power Grid

Snopes Conveniently Silent on WaPost’s Dangerous Fake Story About Russia Hacking US Power Grid

 

 

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Snopes, one of the new arbiters of Fake News for Facebook, has been utterly remiss in its fact-checking duties by failing to report the false allegation The Russians hacked into Vermont’s power grid — perhaps because the original claim appeared in the Washington Post

But for whatever reason, Snopes — whose CEO David Mikkelson stands accused by ex-wife Barbara Mikkelson of embezzling company money to hire prostitutes — simply didn’t bother to report on the Post’s dangerous assertion Russian state actors had tampered with critical infrastructure.

Now emblazoned with an editor’s note essentially stating its original article amounted to Fake News, the Post declared on New Year’s Eve, “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say” — but, as harrowing as that seems, the Department of Homeland Security begs to differ.

In fact, it simply isn’t true.

“While our analysis continues, we currently have no information that indicates that the power grid was penetrated in this cyber incident,” DHS assistant for public affairs J. Todd Breasseale said in a statement after the Post’s article justifiably garnered national attention.

Snopes, however, apparently didn’t deem the claim significantly influential to report as false, despite its perilous underlying suggestion — given attacks on the critical infrastructure are considered worthy of forceful response by the U.S. government — Russia should be targeted for military retribution.

Indeed, President Obama just expelled 35 Russian diplomats over as-yet unproven allegations The Russians hacked the presidential election — the theoretical hack of the nation’s power grid would present far more treacherous consequences.

But Snopes remained mum on the subject. Labeling the Post’s latest Fake News about Russia as ‘false’ should be plastered on the fact-checker’s front page — it not only isn’t there, keyword searches for anything related to Vermont, Russian hackers, the power grid, Washington Post, and more find no results for this particular story.

According to the Post’s editor’s note,

“An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.”

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But Snopes — who will soon be part of a team tasked with deciding whether or not news items should bear the Scarlet Letter term, ‘disputed,’ on the world’s largest social media platform — is completely derelict of duty.

Tasked along with Politifact, FactCheck.org, the Associated Press, and ABC News with vetting the veracity of news items posted to Facebook in the near future, Snopes and the others have been repeatedly accused of liberal bias. This has understandably raised alarm that accurate but right-leaning news items — or any articles not in tandem with the political left establishment — will be unjustly branded as Fake News, punished by Facebook’s unforgiving algorithms, and, thus, have a chilling effect on dissenting opinion.

Beyond basic bias, however, Snopes not excoriating the Washington Post’s egregiously fake story on The Russians Hacking Vermont shows the organization has no tangible interest in actual fact-checking — rather, the outlet appears to spend its time attacking independent, alternative, and right-leaning media organizations.

And it does so even when the information published is accurate and verifiable — or flagrantly and intentionally false.

To wit, Snopes has even ‘debunked’ an obviously fake meme, which had been intended to be a joke amongst friends — and multiple other items — without so much as contacting the people involved.

Snopes also attempted to ‘debunk’ the story of a man given a DUI, who had only caffeine in his system, by claiming that the Free Thought Project “(implied) his legal troubles were the result of merely drinking too much coffee.”

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However, that is not at all what was reported. In fact, the Free Thought Project simply covered the police department’s own admission that Schwab was charged with a DUI and the only drug in his system at the time was caffeine. These two facts are indisputable. However, the supposed arbiter of ‘fake news’ insisted on slandering the Free Thought Project anyway.

Make no mistake, a fact-checker who doesn’t take the time to debunk a viral claim of Russia hacking the U.S. electrical grid — that has since been retracted for being Fake News — has no business being tasked as Facebook’s arbiter of Fake News.

Instead, Snopes’ grievously deficient debunking of the McCarthyite corporate press proves the dangers of planned soft censorship — and the need to maintain an open platform for all opinion — one where alternative media can continue unhindered in calling out corporate media’s lack of journalistic credibility.

  • doucyet

    Snopes is Snoped once again. The Snopes disinformation site is not worth the keystrokes it takes to access it.

    Thanks FTP for exposing these frauds…………

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    • Kami

      “Right, because we should totally jump in and do an instant “fact check” before all the relevant information is available, over a holiday weekend when sources are difficult to reach to boot. That’s something we’d do if we wanted to be as egregiously wrong as often as the Freedom from Thought Project is.”

      • doucyet

        Stay tuned!

  • ardiearar

    lol “free thought” project? you mean like thoughts free of intelligence, logic, and reason? stfu you goddamn ignorant fucks. your dumbass website takes forever to load because of all the fucking trackers and ads, so this shithole is obviously just interested in getting a little piece of coin from the alex jones type morons.

    • Quit your crying already….funny that you call someone else a moron when you are the most obvious one here.

    • TechGump

      And what have you done that’s better? It’s rhetorical, of course. Anyone posting in the manner you have done clearly achieves nothing but self embarassment.

    • junktex

      Potty mouth

      • Kami

        fuck

        • junktex

          The fact remains that Snopes is a fraud

  • Sagan

    Go home FreeThoughtProject – you’re drunk.

  • Chirpy

    Go to “The Intercept dotcom” for more real information on this subject, and how the WaPo is a pos rag at this point. Corporate nonsense.

    • Kami

      go to a fake news site to learn about how legit news sites are wrong

      • Chirpy

        That tells me you have no brain. The Intercept is the best thing out there.

  • nikkol19

    Here in the U.K everyone knows snopes is a tool for projected narrative. eg Sandy hoax

    • Kathy Sullivan Snyder

      Are you referring to the Sandy Hook massacre?

      • Kami

        Yes they seem to think its fake

  • yogini sd

    people are not changing sides at this point…..no reason to reason, the “snopes idiocy” deniers are critically stupid, as well as most hypnotized and sedated american’t’s…….

  • Sid Samsara

    “But Snopes — who will soon be part of a
    team tasked with deciding whether or not news items should bear the
    Scarlet Letter term, ‘disputed,’ on the world’s largest social media
    platform — is completely derelict of duty”

    Prediction: The “D” in many cases will backfire and actually increase views, curiosity will cause many who would normally overlook an article to read it. As soon as someone notices that things they believe to be true or are interested in is marked with a “D” they will think “Dysfunctional” and the program will quietly end after being recognized to be “Dismal”.

    • Kami

      And then we will watch as america slowly descends into an idiocracy as we allow the stupid people decide what facts are

  • East Clintwood

    regime media all in it together, washington compost and snopes are just jokes

  • junktex

    Odd but probably coincidence.LOL.

  • Aajaxx

    This article is a distortion of Snopes’ mission, which I have found to be a very valuable one. Since the WP article was quickly corrected in the paper itself and the retraction was widely reported elsewhere, there is no reason for Snopes to duplicate the new information. If the author can show a pattern of heavily biased editing, I am open to correction on this, but excoriating them based on this minor non-incident smacks of vendetta.

    • pch1013

      Starting with the characterization of Snopes as “one of the new arbiters of Fake News for Facebook.” What the hell does that even mean? Snopes is hardly “new,” and no one at Facebook or anywhere else has ever declared it as an “arbiter of Fake News.”

      • Kami

        They do have an agenda. To fact check things

      • Wesley

        Yes, This. What these two posters said. This Free Thought Project has veered way off. Snopes fact checks things people ask them to fact check. Perhaps no one asked them to fact check the WaPo. Perhaps someone asked after the story was retracted. But the fact that it isn’t a fact checked story means nothing. Snopes fact checks many items in main stream media reporting. This article stinks of sour grapes.

    • GnomeCoach

      Many opponents of Snopes are proud of their ability to cherry pick information in their quest to push their political agendas. They often get their guidance from conservative news sources who they love without questioning the accuracy of information that they spew. These people are on a mission to spread the gospel of their heroes.

    • Max Lippman

      http://www.snopes.com/report-vermont-power-grid-infiltrated-by-russian-hackers/

      Snopes has weighed in on the WaPo article. Which makes this whole article just BS.

    • Stephen Bowman

      Translation: you have never read Snopes!

    • kidkeenan

      Point me to that retraction?

  • WolfEmperor
  • Jon Paul Davis

    Snopes already has a story up on this. But I will come back back here in a week and see if FTP has updated their reporting. Probably not.

  • JMW
  • GnomeCoach

    Snopes.com has numerous haters, especially among conspiracy theorists and those who have deeply believe in the stories it has exposed. increasing numbers of conservatives now hold a grudge against Snoopes because it has exposed so many of the false news stories they played a large role in spreading.

    • junktex

      Naw,Snopes is disinfo in overdrive.They were certainly silent in instances of MSM lies

      • GnomeCoach

        Many people take great pride in not admitting that they are in error, even when confronted with mountains of evidence that they were wrong. This is one of the amazing features of the human brain.

  • CelticMarauder .

    A swing and a miss by the Free Thought Project. Snopes released an article relating to this *after* doing their due diligence and research. http://www.snopes.com/report-vermont-power-grid-infiltrated-by-russian-hackers/

  • Kevin Darnell
  • I am fairly good at spotting a site that is likely to be on propornot. And, as I suspected, you are on the list. One good way to spot a propornot member is when they do not know what words mean, or use them like humpty dumpty. There really is a difference between telling a fake story (the author knows that it is a lie) and simply being wrong.

    Yes, in the rush to be first or early, a paper or other news source can inaccurately report stuff. But when new and better info comes to their attention, they correct the matter as the post did. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/01/01/fake-news-and-how-the-washington-post-rewrote-its-story-on-russian-hacking-of-the-power-grid/#5a06b69e291e .

    Yea … they could have made the corrections sooner, and in a more complete manner. But they did make the corrections. And if stupid people get all of their news from social media HEADLINES, and do not have time to read the story itself. Well F*** em!! This is different from repeating the same lie over and over having convinced yourself that it is true. As in there is no such thing as global warming. I mean, really… Almost every life form on the planet is aware of that except those in the conservative echo chamber. See this: htt://www.dnusbaum.com/AGWdeniers.html

  • Redrerick