Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Editorial: Satire vs fake news

In the battle between Babylon Bee and Snopes, all you need to know is this: most of the people who turn to Snopes to fact check something are people on the left, thus more likely than not left wingers are forwarding these satirical articles to Snopes for fact checking. Sadly the humorless left wing scowls at Snopes, like Dan Evon, are so butthurt over this very good satire from Babylon Bee they feel compelled to attack.

It’s time to give up on Snopes entirely.

Dan “I’m a butthurt left winger” Evon

Fact-checking is important in this age of fake news, and Snopes has done some decent investigative work through the years. But the organization should know when to leave well enough alone.

Last week Snopes “fact-checked” an article titled “Georgia Lawmaker Claims Chick-fil-A Employee Told Her To Go Back To Her Country, Later Clarifies He Actually Said ‘My Pleasure’.” First, that headline is way too long. Second, why is a company wasting time fact-checking a site clearly labeled satire?

What will be “investigated” next? Crop circles?

Snopes writer Dan Evon wrote, “While this real-world incident stirred up a good amount of online anger, it wasn’t quite outrageous enough for the entertainment website Babylon Bee. In an apparent attempt to maximize the online indignation, this website published a fictionalized version of the story . . .”

In an apparent attempt? There’s no apparent. That’s exactly what the Bee does. Would you expect an outlet that publishes headlines like “Border Patrol Agent Calls Up Planned Parenthood To Get Helpful Pointers On Separating Children From Their Mothers” to be subtle or sneaky in its attempts to drive web traffic?

Mr. Evon went on to accuse the Bee of fooling its readers. But it seems pretty clear that readers of the Babylon Bee know what they’re getting into. Want proof? Just look at the Facebook comments.

The Babylon Bee says it has lawyered up, and we’re sure that a satire news organization going to court will provide some fantastic material for future headlines. But Snopes should know better than to pick fights with a site clearly labeled as satire news. It’s called picking your battles.

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