Snopes co-founder and 50% stakeholder David Mikkelson was found to have plagiarized numerous stories from other news outlets under a pseudonym.
Mikkelson, who wrote under the name “Jeff Zarronandia” was found guilty of copying and plagiarizing several news articles and posting them on their “fact-checking” website to earn traffic.
Snopes later found that Mikkelson plagiarized at least 60 news pieces on their site after a BuzzFeed News investigation.
The plagiarized stories were later to have been taken from major news outlets like The Guardian, NBC, BBC, CNN, and the New York Times.
All of the plagiarized stories were also found to have been written under at least three different bylines: Mikkelson’s name, “Snopes Staff”, and Zarrondia Zarronandia.
“Plagiarism undermines our mission and values, full stop. It has no place in any context within this organization, ” announced Snopes.
Mikkelson was stripped of his publishing rights but remained as a 50% shareholder and the company’s CEO.
“I engaged in multiple serious copyright violations of content that Snopes didn’t have rights to use. There is no excuse for my serious lapses in judgement. I am sorry,” said Mikkelson.
Snopes was also forced to remove the plagiarized articles from their site and condemned Mikkelson
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