What use is a fact checking site that doesn’t bother reporting the truth?
Snopes likes to consider itself a rumor-busting website, but its failure to debunk a recent smear on Chick-fil-A is only the latest in a series of seemingly partisan missteps.
The “fact” Snopes failed to accurately check came from a viral tweet.
The social media post asserted that Uganda introduced a bill that legalizes “murdering gay people.” The tweet also claimed that Chick-fil-A funds the organization that was a driving force behind the bill.
Today Uganda announced a bill to legalize murdering gay people. National Christian Organization paid a preacher to go to Uganda and help their lawmakers with the bill. Chick-fil-a funds National Christian Org.
If you eat at Chick-fil-a, this is what your money goes to.
— slop (@sloppyposts) October 12, 2019
Snopes didn’t waste any time jumping to address such a shocking claim against a controversial company.
According to Snopes, what’s true is that a Ugandan official confirmed the intention to make homosexuality punishable by death, and that “the National Christian Foundation has funded projects that opposed LGBT rights in Uganda; and the WinShape Foundation, closely linked to Chick-fil-A, has funded the National Christian Foundation.”
Instead of claiming the assertion was true, Snopes tempered their fact check with a few false points, including the fact that the move would not actually legalize murder against LGBT people. The site also made it clear that they could not determine to what extent the NCF was behind the bill.
Snopes insists the original claim is a “mixture” of both truth and fiction, despite the emergence of multiple facts making it clear the entire premise of the smear against Chick-fil-A is a dud.
The first problem is a statement made through the spokesman of Uganda’s president thoroughly denying that any such plan to kill LGBT people exists a full day before the Snopes article was published.
“There are no plans by the government to introduce a law like that,” the spokesman said to Reuters. “We have the penal code that already handles issues of unnatural sexual behavior so there is no law coming up.”
The next problem is the 2017 tax documents Snopes cited in an attempt to link the chicken restaurant with the mass murder of gays in Africa.
While the fact checker originally claimed the documents prove the WinShape Foundation funded the NCF, their article was updated after the Daily Caller and other organizations pointed out a clear fact in the documents themselves — that the WinShape Foundation stopped donating to the NCF after 2011.
Snopes handled the update with all the slyness you’d expect from such a biased fact checker.
Instead of relying on their debunked claim of 2017 donations funding anti-LGBT laws, Snopes instead insisted that the funding made in the “crucial period of 2008-2011” was the real important issue.
According to Snopes, this proves “a real and substantive connection does exist between the funding disbursed by the WinShape Foundation and the activities of NCF-backed groups and individuals in Uganda.”
The final nail in the coffin of this Snopes fact check?
It turns out that Chick-fil-A itself isn’t even connected to this debacle. According to the Washington Examiner, the only link is that the owners of the chicken restaurant donated to the NCF through a separate organization.
Of course, this shouldn’t surprise any of us.
Could we have really expected a fact checking website that “fact checks” satire sites like the Babylon Bee to be an impartial truth-seeker?
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.