Snopes Fabricates Lies About #GamerGate Without Citing Sources
Snopes Debunked
(Last Updated On: April 26, 2017)

Snopes has been selected by Facebook as an official “fact checker” for helping determine when a site is publishes an article that could be considered “fake news”. So what happens when the fact checker of fake news publishes an article containing “facts” that are, indeed, actually fake? Well, that scenario recently became a reality when Snopes published an article about “red pills” and “feminist culture”.

An advocate for ethics in journalism tipped us off to an archive saved of an article from Snopes that was published on April 25th, 2017. The article was written by Arturo Garcia and titled “New Hampshire Legislator Reportedly Linked to Reddit ‘RedPill’ Forum”.

The brunt of the message is about the red pill pick-up culture and Republican representative Robert Fisher. However, near the bottom of the article Garcia takes a decidedly wild turn away from factual citations and makes bold, uncited claims. Garcia writes…

“Critics have also associated the site with the “Gamergate” harassment campaign and the white nationalist movement calling itself the “alt-right.” (RedPill hosted a 2016 AMA — Ask Me Anything — with former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who has also been associated with these groups.)”

The only citation in that paragraph links to the actual Reddit AMA. What’s odd here is that Garcia’s link to Reddit that captures questions to, and answers from, Milo Yiannopoulos regarding #GamerGate have nothing to do with harassment. The archive Snopes links to relates to conversations about #GamerGate used as a springboard to open up more discussions and debate regarding identity politics, and how much the gaming industry may be affected by ideologically driven forces from media and culture critics.

The AMA link has nothing to do with #GamerGate as a harassment campaign.

What’s more is that Snopes has no citation whatsoever for how they derived the description of the movement with the line “’Gamergate’ harassment campaign and the white nationalist movement”.

The reality is that the movement was absolved of interest from authorities in relation to any activity related to organized harassment after the FBI did a full investigation into #GamerGate for more than nine months.

The FBI was unable to discover any actionable evidence that indicated that #GamerGate was an actual harassment campaign. The FBI’s full #GamerGate case can be downloaded by the general public.

The case reveals that allegedly trolls from the SomethingAwful.com forum boards organized harassment, along with other third-party trolls, who sent death threats and bomb threats to people on both sides of the #GamerGate debate. The case also reveals two young teen boys from Indiana also repeatedly having called Brianna Wu – an actual case of harassment – but only did so because they didn’t know what #GamerGate was until sites like Washington Post, Kotaku, Time Magazine,  Polygon, New York Times and the now defunct Gawker all having claimed that #GamerGate was a harassment campaign. The boys told the FBI that after they saw the headlines on Gnews they decided to join in on the trolling. They claimed that they were not associated with #GamerGate, though.

The piece about the boys is completely ignored by Snopes even though the FBI report is completely available online for public viewing. Instead, Snopes recalls an article from October 30th, 2014 published by the Boston Globe where they interviewed current Congressional candidate Brianna Wu, who claimed that #GamerGate was a harassment campaign. However, the publication failed to fact check any of the claims. The “harassment” that Wu attributed to #GamerGate actually came from a random egg account on Twitter going by the handle of Chatter Whiteman, which was created just minutes before it posted  death threats.

The account was deleted minutes after the death threats were made, and it had no association with #GamerGate, which was also noted in the FBI’s report.

Yet Snopes fails to make mention of this, nor do they clarify what they mean when they state that Wu was “targeted” for harassment by “proponents” of #GamerGate. The line is stated de facto even though Christina Hoff Sommers was associated with the movement and is not a harasser, and liberal journalist Cathy Young was also associated with #GamerGate’s Society of Professional Journalists “Airplay” panel hosted in Miami, Florida back in 2015, which Cathy Young covered in a post on Reason.com. For as far as her social media presence is concerned she’s also not a harasser. So who are these “proponents” advocating harassment that Snopes is referencing?

Citation needed.

Snopes also has no citations beyond the Boston Globe piece in regards to their #GamerGate claims based on comments made by Brianna Wu. Snopes writes…

“Democratic congressional candidate and software engineer Brianna Wu, who was targeted for harassment beginning in 2014 by “Gamergate” proponents, said that both that and the RedPill played on a “cultural resentment” that she felt has fueled a hijacking of the conservative movement”

The Boston Glone article is not only outdated but proven factually inaccurate by peer reviewed data reports and the FBI themselves.

Furthermore, the GamerGate hashtag was cleaned up of trolling and any attempts at harassment back in 2014 and 2015 by a #GamerGate harassment patrol. Trolls attempting to use the tag to harass, or send death threats, were reported, blocked or suspended by Twitter staff. This is why in the peer reviewed WAM! report the stats revealed that only 0.65% of the people on the #GamerGate blocklist were actually reported for harassment, as detailed by TechRaptor. A separate research report funded by the European Commission also revealed that they couldn’t find evidence for systematic behavior of harassment from #GamerGate.

Given the information and data from the reports and the FBI, it became clear that the facts didn’t measure up with the media’s reports. When I attempted to contact journalists from sites like the New York Times, The New York Post, The Financial Post, and those on the GameJournoPros list to find out exactly what evidence they had to back up the claims made in their articles about #GamerGate being a harassment campaign, I was either blocked, ignored or told I was a “silly goose”.



To date, there has still been no documented evidence by journalists or by law authorities indicating that #GamerGate ever was or has been a harassment campaign. Snopes has literally fabricated this information for the purpose of their article, and have provided no citation to wholly satiate that claim in light of the evidence and statistics available in the public domain.

In this regard, this isn’t the only time that Snopes’ fact-checking ability has been called into question.

According to Forbes contributor Kalev Leetaru, he brings out an excellent point about the veracity of some of Snopes’ claims, writing…

“If an organization like Snopes feels it is ok to hire partisan employees who have run for public office on behalf of a particular political party and employ them as fact checkers where they have a high likelihood of being asked to weigh in on material aligned with or contrary to their views, how can they reasonably be expected to act as neutral arbitrators of the truth?”

The Forbes article was in response to highly salacious claims made in a Daily Mail article that was published on December 21st, 2016, which alleged embezzlement, prostitution, cronyism, and political partisanship taking place at Snopes. The owner of Snopes declined to address many of these allegations in an interview with Forbes, leaving many to believe that the Daily Mail claims are true until stated otherwise.

Oddly enough, in an interview with the New York Times, one of Snopes’ contributors, Ms. Binkowski, explained to them…

“Not to be ideological or Pollyannaish, but you have to believe this work makes a difference,” “Otherwise you’d just go back to bed and drink.” [also] “I really like telling people they’re wrong. ”

Well, in this case, Snopes is unequivocally wrong.

Snopes was contacted about the lack of citations for the claims made about #GamerGate. If they choose to respond or correct their article, this article will be updated to reflect those changes.

(Main image courtesy of Yahlantykan)


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Disqusted

    Headline may as well say “Snopes fabricates lies”, because that’s what they do. As do all those “fact check” sites. Facts aren’t so easy to determine.

    I think a person would have to be pretty gullible to trust any single site that claims to check facts. Blatant propaganda operation. It’s like having 1 or 2 people standing around spewing bullshit, and then insisting it’s all fact because they “checked” it. Yeah, real f**king reliable and trustworthy.

  • Ed

    Damn…I used to go to snopes to check on stuff, that was like ten years ago…so many sites I used to go on as a kid now just seem like they’ve been brigaded by SJWs…even Bill Nye and Adam Savage

    Fuck’s sake, I really really hope this site doesn’t turn into one them. All this stuff is just depressing, seeing what you (once) loved now just turned into a political soapbox.

    • Fuck’s sake, I really really hope this site doesn’t turn into one them.

      Nah, this site only gained its audience from people tired of other SJW sites. So long as they keep being corrupt pissants, this site will continue to grow.

    • Disqusted

      The assholes funding SJWs intentionally takeover influential platforms and key information/discussion hub sites. It’s probably safe to say that smaller sites like this one will fly under their radar, at least for now.

      Of course, there is the fact that they got to Disqus, which handles these comments.

  • FlamingoJet

    I really hope they recuse the uncited information in that article or else GG is going to have to blacklist them which would be a damn shame, they do good work.

    But you’re a fact checking site, you can’t be doing this just so it fits your SJW agenda.

    • Precisely.

      If this was some random blog it wouldn’t matter. But they’ve been delegated as an actual titled Fact Checker of the internet. So when you have that kind of responsibility bestowed upon you, you can’t afford to half-arse the fact checking.

  • anopolis

    is there not one of these lefy asshat turd pile websites, that value integrity? not one?…I’m serious, im the kinda fella that likes to look at all angles before sayng ” that SUCKS”. I would listen/read what they have to say, but when so many of them are just lying bias buttsniffers..I’m not inclined to listen to them at all, or waste my time.

    • Disqusted

      Integrity is probably often one of the first casualties of becoming profitable. Pretty certain sites like Snopes get paid big bucks to push agendas. Probably like how the Better Business Bureau operates.

  • ChaoticWin

    I’d say the site isn’t entirely useless. Articles dealing with anything controversial should obviously be taken with a grain of salt, to compensate for bias. But for articles dealing in the non-political, in questions as to the origin of photos/videos being circulated with claims of origin, in falsely attributed quotes, & et al, and especially where the citation is given and can be independently verified… I see no problem with Snopes.

    • Disqusted

      It’s not a problem to people who see it like how Wikipedia should be seen: a starting point for digging deeper.

      The problem is a lot of people judge based solely on what Snopes writes. If you really want the facts, you should never trust a single source for anything. No single person or group is 100% reliable.

  • conrad1on

    I once wondered if Snopes had ever taken a look at #GamerGate. For people supposedly concerned with debunking misinformation, I’d have thought they’d consider it a rich seam of propaganda for them to try and untangle. I’m now glad they never bothered.

    • I once wondered if Snopes had ever taken a look at #GamerGate

      Even if they did or had, they would not let reason and facts get in the way of “muh sexism and misogyny”.

      The people in charge of Snopes are ideologically driven. Which means that they’ll ignore or censor anything that goes against or disproves their narrative.

      • conrad1on

        I’ve never really used Snopes before, but it certainly seems that way. Just add it to the big list of sites I don’t trust I guess.

      • This right here.

        Snopes’ article on Pizzagate was laughable. They misconstrued what it was all about and setup a strawman to tear down. They completely ignored information and then refused to address points.

        They did the exact same thing to Monica Petersen, which to me was absolutely disgusting. They strawmanned the heck out of that and tried burying it quick while misusing their own facts and avoiding to look at other details or the testimony of her own parents. After that I realized Snopes had no interest in the truth.

  • AlecJ

    Snopes and Politifact are the epitome of the problems with “peer review”. Like in academia, “fact checking” means nothing when all involved are willingly ignorant and/or dishonest in the propagation of an ideology.

    Facebook fighting “fake news” by working with Snopes is like Willie Nelson working with Snoop Dogg to fight smoking weed.

    Much of the worst science (google Ignaz Semmelweis) and policy (eugenics) throughout history is a result of these types of inbred mutual masturbation societies (which is why “consensus” is been the basis for evil in the past)…..ignoring them is not enough, we must shine a spotlight on them anytime they attempt to invent facts or slander what is right.

  • MusouTensei

    Snopes belongs in the trash together with the entirety of Facebook itself.

  • Jack Thompson

    I wouldn’t blame them. Everyone has been doing it for years. They just want to be accepted by the cool kids at the lunch table.

    • I wouldn’t blame them. They just want to be accepted by the cool kids at the lunch table.

      That’s actually giving Snopes credit, because it implies that they might be innocent.

      As a website that is meant to dig for, fact check and find out the truth, they have the choice of remaining neutral and to follow their guideline principles.

      But politically-wise, they don’t follow their guideline at all. Instead, the people in charge are ideologically driven, which means they’re biased and will ignore or censor anything that goes against or disproves their political narrative.

      It’s the same leftist “women are victims” SJW feminist crap.

      So personally, I wouldn’t let them off the hook. They chose to follow and push the SJW narrative. They are culpable.

      • Jack Thompson

        I was memeing. Of course they’re at fault. I will learn to meme more responsibly and always add :^) to my ironic shitposts.

        • lol, people are a bit uptight around these parts at times because we actually do get the occasional SJW who pops in and unironically rattles off all the typical SJW talking points and defenses.

          • Jack Thompson

            I kinda thought “They just want to be accepted by the cool kids at the lunch table.” would be more than enough to tip anyone off.

      • Jack Thompson

        I was memeing. Of course they’re at fault. I will learn to meme more responsibly and always add :^) to my ironic shitposts.

  • MONAD

    “Snopes has been selected by Facebook as an official “fact checker” for helping determine when a site is publishes an article that could be considered “fake news”. ”

    I CAN’T SEE ANY PROBLEM WITH THIS AT ALL. NOPE. BUSINESS AS USUAL.

    • Disqusted

      It’s like a large scale version of the shit they pull in academia. They’re all the same assholes and their best buddies making separate groups, spewing the same lies, and then citing each other to make themselves look like reliable sources.

  • Gozu Tennoh

    Snopes is basically a cat lady and her cuck husband. Seriously.

    • Disqusted

      What happened with the lawsuit about both of them blowing huge amounts of money on stupid shit and sleeping with other people? They sound like such a trustworthy bunch!

  • lucben999

    I remember in one of my many “discussions” with ghazi types I managed to corner one to the point they had to link to some evidence that GG was a harassment campaign. They linked me to an archive of an old 4chan thread before the hashtag was coined that had Zoe Quinn’s supposed dox posted and about a million replies saying “fuck off Zoe”, accusing the poster of false flagging and saying not to call the numbers and report the post to the mods.

  • durka durka

    “Critics have also associated the site”

    correct me if i am wrong but a “fact checker” isnt suppose to ask what “critics” have associated something with, but actually dig for the truth.

    This “fact checking” is like me asking my friend Bob who is a plumber, on quantum physics and then taking his opinion on the mater as FACT despite the fact nor he or i know a damn thing about quantum physics.

    • lucben999

      When you’re fact-checking fellow cultists, you only need to gather a bunch of articles from them and go “see? they’re all saying the same thing, therefore it must be true”. When you’re fact-checking heretics, take some absurd claim that only vaguely resembles something the heretics are claiming and go “see? this ridiculous claim that’s totally being made by the heretics is so clearly false”.

  • So basically, Snopes is just yet another biased, dishonest, leftard Social Justice feminist pile of crap.

    • Kageyama

      it’s been known for a while now. And Politifact too.

    • Mr.Towel

      They were sperging hard for Hillary and Obama at the last election cycle, it should be no surprise.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    Get fucking Snoped, Snopes.

    • anopolis

      thats toxic language you got there!!..i think…i don’t know what snoped means..but it sounds like a good plan for them.

      • Kain Yusanagi

        I’m using the noun, “Snopes”, as a verb, “snoped”, to indicate what they themselves purport to do, which is debunk lies and tell the truth.