Snopes co-founder David Mikkelson was suspended after a review found 54 plagiarized articles and other copyright violations.
An investigation by BuzzFeed News sound that Snopes' co-founder David Mikkelson had plagiarized dozens of articles. Mikkelson duplicated text from the BBC, NBC, CNN, and the New York Times in his pieces for the fact checking site. BuzzFeed's report found that he would sometimes copy entire paragraphs and once copied an article in its entirety.
Buzzfeed's investigation led to an internal review in Snopes. The review showed that Mikkelson wrote approximately 54 articles with plagiarized material. Mikkelson admitted to using unethical plagiarizm in two emails from 2014 and 2015 and in a Slack message in 2016.
Managing Editor of Snopes Doreen Marchionni and Chief Operating Officer Vinny Green apologized for the actions in a memo, and confirmed that Mikkelson had been suspended from his "editorial duties" until a formal investigation took place. The memo also stated that a staff reporter examined each flagged post for plagiarism. Marchionni then verified her initial findings with the help of plagiarism detection software.
According to The New York Times, Mikkelson confessed he had engaged in significant, numerous copyright violations and that Snopes did not have rights to use. "There is no excuse for my serious lapses in judgment," he wrote, adding, "I want to express how sorry I am to those whose copyright I violated, to our staff, and our readers," he added.