Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of claims, theories, rumours, myths, and bald-faced, unvarnished lies now circulating a world that was supposed to be saved by the information age, but is instead drowning in a misinformation rage, the popular fact-checking website Snopes.com today announced they are shutting their servers.
The closure of the popular domain – once ranked the second most popular site on the internet, after only the traffic-generating juggernaut that is eelslap.com – comes as the United States became the latest nation to adopt Mendacity as an official language. That move is being interpreted as a significant sign that the world’s last mediocrepower intends to join Russia and China in a race to see who can give the fewest shits about verifiable facts, and their real-world implications.
“Frankly we’ve had enough,” said Snopes’ Owner, David Mikkelson – the man credited with inventing the popular children’s rhyme regarding the combustive properties of a fabricator’s trousers.
“Back when we were investigating whether Paul McCartney was replaced by a robot in the 70’s, this stuff was fun. But now we spend our days looking into whether the Trump administration is actually smuggling migrant children into desert camps under the cover of darkness (it is), or if any of the random photos of drunk women being shared online that claim to be shots of Christine Blasey Ford are her (they’re not, seriously people would you just grow up?). It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and thankless. So we give up.”
Mikkelson goes on to add that it isn’t just the damage wrought by Hurricane Fable that has swamped his fact-checking start-up. It’s also the plague of seemingly willful stupidity that is currently sweeping the planet.
“If you really have to ask if it’s true that a man was recently freed from prison after serving a 99-year jail sentence for horse theft, maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to online. I’m just going to put that out there.”
With the number of assertions and allegations requiring review climbing into the tens of thousands per minute – on a quiet holiday Monday when the U.S. President is busy playing golf, and approaching millions the rest of the time – the site’s small staff of sixteen confirmed that the workload is now relentless.
“It’s like trying to shovel snow in a winter storm,” says David McDavid, a former senior writer for the now defunct site. “But like that guy in New York in the late 80’s, whose septic tank exploded in the middle of a blizzard, instead of snow we’re getting covered in raw sewage. And yeah, you’re just going to have to fact check that one yourself.”