In a world where “fake news” is a major part of daily scene, Snopes.com is known for fact-checking and exposing stories that aren’t true. Now they are fighting a legal battle with an “outside vendor” and are asking readers to help fund their legal fees and get salaries paid, in order to keep the website alive.

‘Internal business dispute’ causing problems for Snopes.com

While the "fake news" busting website is keeping the full facts under wraps, probably due to the ongoing legal battle, according to a website launched by them, it appears to relate to an internal business dispute with a third party company. That company is apparently refusing to let go of the website after a contracted ended, meaning there is no cash to pay salaries and bills.

Digital advertising has been the main source of income for the website, which opened in 1994, as they chose to shun outside investors and sponsorships. Snopes.com says on their website that they had contracted with a third-party vendor that has been providing service to the website. However, that contract came to an end earlier this year. The third-party vendor is hosting the website and refuses to let go of Snopes.com, meaning they are not longer available to develop the website or place essential advertising on its web pages. The fact checkers claim that the vendor is continuing to place its own adverts and is withholding the revenue from them.

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GoFundMe campaign launched to save Snopes.com

Founder David Mikkelson launched a “Help Save Snopes.com!” GoFundMe page on July 23, asking readers for donations to allow them to continue and fight the legal battle. In their commentary on the page, Snopes states their legal team is “fighting hard” for them, but due to their being cut off from revenue earned by the site, they are faced with having no finances on hand to continue its operation. They are also not able to pay their staff or legal fees.

According to the International Business Times, over 160,000 people donated within the first day, raising over $450,000 of their $500,000 goal and that figure continues to grow. The fund has, as of Tuesday, reached a figure of $475,000 towards its goal.

On July 25, Mikkelson updated the GoFundMe page to say how “grateful and overwhelmed” he was by the donations and support they had received. He also mentioned they are, themselves, affected by fake news [VIDEO] with certain “misinformation and conjecture” about their campaign doing the rounds online, saying no further statements had been made by Snopes.com following that on the GoFundMe page.