Debate Magazine

Don’t Fall for the “Snopes CEO Arrested for Fraud” Story

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Conservative blogs are abuzz with news from The People’s Cube that’s CEO has been arrested for fraud.

Here’s the pull quote from the Aug. 6, 2015, People’s Cube article, “ CEO arrested on charges of fraud and corruption“: owners Barbara and David Mikkelson were detained by police today after an unrelated investigation of a editor led police onto a paper trail of corruption, bribery, and fraud at the very heart of the fact-checking organization. Evidence obtained by police has revealed that, which markets itself as “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation,” has a history of accepting money and favors from left-leaning and pro-Islamic political groups and individuals for helping them to advance their cause by rigging public discourse with selective fact-finding and deliberate manipulation of public opinion.

If you’re cheering this, and thinking of reblogging or linking the article, DON’T.

It’s NOT true.

Rule No. 1:

Always be suspicious if a blog post or article does not cite or embed a link to its news source.

A piece of news such as Snopes’ CEO being arrested should identify its news source — a newspaper, a TV station, or a news agency like the AP. But this report doesn’t.

That’s because it’s a made-up story. The People’s Cube is a satire, faux news site — yet another The Onion wannabe. From Wikipedia:

The People’s Cube is a U.S. based satirical conservative website that was launched April 1, 2005

People’s Cube’s founder is Oleg Atbashian, who was a propaganda artist for the former Soviet Union before he moved to the U.S. in 1994. He writes under the pseudonym “Red Square.”

When he arrived in the U.S., Atbashian was puzzled by the “level of delusional affection for all things Left among the liberal intellectual elites who take America’s exclusive well-being for granted.” He founded The People’s Cube, hoping that it be a site of political humor and parody for “conservatives, libertarians, objectivists, and anyone who supports and celebrates America’s freedoms, individual rights, and capitalism.”

In all fairness to Atbashian, People’s Cube doesn’t pretend to deliver real news, as you can see from its tongue-in-cheek masthead:

The People's Cube


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