back to article Snopes lawsuit latest: Judge orders disputed cash can flow to fact-checking site

Snopes creator David Mikkelson has secured half a million dollars to keep the iconic fact-checking website Snopes afloat, thanks to a judge’s ruling in an ongoing court battle. Mikkelson cannot be removed as chief exec of Snopes.com, while the disputed $500k will be released to the firm that controls Snopes, Bardav Inc. “ …

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Coat

Huge

...if true

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Sounds like an urban myth.

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Losing the templates must hurt

I mean where can you get a copy of Netscape Composer these days.

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Trollface

including such tales as cats being accidentally fired at jet engines during bird strike tests

Who would possibly fall for an anecdote like that?

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Great site!

I hope they sort it o.k. It is one site I trust.

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Re: Great site!

The problem is that once an advertising company gets seats on the managing board it's pretty well doomed. A conflict of interest will constantly crop up.

What do you want? Facts checked or click bait?

Whose interests are paramount? The reader's or the advertiser's?

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Re: Great site!

"Whose interests are paramount? The reader's or the advertiser's?"

Long/Medium term there won't be any readers if the Advertisers interests are followed. But I admit short termism is the norm nowadays:-(

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Windows

Facebook comment #1

Uhh, bro u mite wanna Snopes that dood.

/millen

I tend to post

SNOPES!

under things far too freaking often.

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As a divorcee I have to say...

... giving your wife half the company? Without an impenetrable wall of shell companies in the Virgin Islands? Seriously ?!? ..... Someone should have debunked his "happy ever after" urban myth.

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Go

Re: As a divorcee I have to say...

My ex got half a tent and one of the two sleeping mats!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a divorcee I have to say...

He didn't "give her half the company". They founded the company together and put equal amounts of work into it.

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Re: As a divorcee I have to say...

In that case, there should be a shareholder agreement stipulating that in case of sale the other shareholder has first refusal on 1-5% at the original issued value. Allowing a situation to arise where one founder can transfer shares to a hostile party without simultaneously guaranteeing a controlling interest to the remaining founder is madness - as cases like this regularly illustrate.

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Re: As a divorcee I have to say...

Wouldacouldashoulda.

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Corporate vs. Individual

Who owns the sock? That's all that matters. If five people split 50%, then they don't have enough, plain and simple.

I'm not sure Proper has thought-through the implications here. Stock granted by the company belongs to the company?

Imagine if you participate in some sort of profit share or stock option benefits. Your employer gives you stock, but still maintains ownership of that stock? I wouldn't work for a company that offers compensation in the form of stock if they can take it away arbitrarily, which is what could happen if Proper somehow wins its claim that it still maintains ownership of stock it distributed to it's own board.

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Re: Corporate vs. Individual

It turns out that it is more complicated than that. Techdirt has a detailed explanation, but basically, the particular corporate structure used means that only individuals can hold shares, not companies. So, Proper paid for the share but the shares are held individually by the directors. So the court has to decide whether Proper can be regarded as the "beneficial owner".

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Re: Corporate vs. Individual

A section S corporation isn't allowed to have corporate shareholders. So Proper isn't allowed to own shares. Only by having shares do you get a seat on the board. Therefore Proper doesn't get a seat on the board.

Easy.

This seems to be a nasty attempt to bypass US corporate law. Proper made a huge mistake by buying into something that they weren't legally allowed to buy and now want the courts to extract them from a mess of their own making.

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Re: Corporate vs. Individual

Spot on. Proper Media may have (i.e. probably does have) a potential grievance against some of the individuals who used to work for Proper and got Bardav shares, and who now work for Bardav, but that's not really much to do with Bardav.

Legally, Bardav has 6 individual shareholders: David M with 50%, two people who also own shares in Proper with 20% each, and three others each with 3.3% Proper Media does not/cannot own shares in Bardav.

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Re: Corporate vs. Individual

Now this is the meat of the matter.

Thanks to the above posters I have a much better understanding.

It appears that yes, the company seems to want its cake and eat it too.

They can't have it both ways and especially if the company is structured as stated.

The slap down will be glorious. Fuck those corporate raider shysters.

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Trollface

Re: Corporate vs. Individual Who owns the sock?

When will we know who owns the sock? What kind of sock?

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Trollface

Judge Judith Hayes

Judge Judy!?

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Childcatcher

Buried the leed

So what I took away from this is that David and Barbara split up and I'm only just hearing about it.

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The situation has become much clearer since the initial reports.

And I'm reassured that people here have identified a key element. Proper Media trying is trying to claim that they effectively own the shares in an S Corporation, even though that is explicitly not allowed. Their filings make a claim that, if accepted, admit they were involved in a sham transaction.

My guess is that they will quickly try to back out of that stance, only to bump into the IRS asking why that share distribution wasn't treated as taxable wages for the board members.

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Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

As long as they were sticking to reality and urban legends, Snopes had some purpose and value - but about 10 years back, they veered hard left into the political mire, and at this point it's difficult to trust them for ANYTHING.

If you see that Snopes has validated something - especially something political, like "global warming" or "climate change" or whatever name Algore is using for it these days - then you really ought to get that confirmed by a few other sources. Because Snopes is less trustworthy than whatever lies David and Barbara are telling about each other in their divorce..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

Clearly reality isn't sticking to you.

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FAIL

Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

Ken, you should have just called it "FAKE DEBUNKING" - that's what your glorious Dear Leader, who-is-a-perfect-incarnation-of-the-appearance-that-a-leader-should-have - does when a fact is reported that he doesn't like.

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Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

P.S. The shift to "climate change" from "global warming" was to try and shut up your kind from saying stupid things like "Global warming?? but it was snowing here yesterday!"

Unfortunately, instead of appeasing you, you've all just added the change to your stupid list of conspiracy theories.

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Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

"Global warming" or "climate change" is not political. The atmosphere doesn't care what you believe or who you vote for. And besides, there are dozens of sites dedicated solely to debunking the other side's talking points on that topic, so Snopes is quite redundant in that field anyway.

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Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

What's that saying? Reality has a left-wing bias?

I'm not a big fan of Snopes getting into political fact checking, because I just want an urban legend checking site. Let PolitiFact et al do the politics stuff.

I can see why they're doing that, though. It's a natural step from debunking that stupid story about the guy who put his RV on cruise control, took a nap, and is suing the manufacturer to debunking the claim that Hillary said something once that kind of looks like something Hitler might have said (the truth is that neither of them made either statement attributed to them).

I know of a couple of people on the right who've found it inconvenient, like the guy on Facebook who posted a thing about how people should fact check before they post (mentioning Snopes as a useful resource by name) and then got upset when I linked to the Snopes debunking of the aforementioned Hillary/Hitler comparison that he had shared.

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Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

"especially something political, like "global warming" or "climate change" or whatever name Algore is using for it these days" you must have been listening to Monckton and the other lying deniers..

https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/articles/whats-name-global-warming-vs-climate-change

https://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-global-warming.htm

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Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

Sorry, but my experience with Snopes and controversial issues showed it to be a hard, left-leaning site. Too many time I've seen things listed as, 'false' when a trivial bit was wrong, while other issues rated 'mostly true' when one of the significant factors was untrue.

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Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

Of course Snopes is politically biased. Here are two perfect examples

http://www.snopes.com/donald-trumps-mother-illegal-immigrant/ asks if Mary Anne MacLeod, President Donald Trump’s mother, illegally immigrate to the United States in 1929. The answer is that there is no evidence to support this story and the summary is UNLIKELY.

http://www.snopes.com/cnn-justine-damond/ asks "Did CNN Bury the Justine Damond Story Because She Was a White Woman Killed By a 'Black Islamic Immigrant From Somalia'?", a common claim from Trump supporters. The answer is NO - as anyone with the brains to check the CNN site can find for themselves, but Trump and his supporters will not do that because they refuse to face the truth.

Yep, definitely biased -- towards telling the truth. Something Trump, the inventor of fake news, "Obama not a US citizen", "I was Time man of the year in 1990" etc, hates

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Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....4 Jtom

Sorry, but my experience with Snopes and controversial issues showed it to be a hard, left-leaning site. Too many time I've seen things listed as, 'false' when a trivial bit was wrong, while other issues rated 'mostly true' when one of the significant factors was untrue.

And yet you added no examples from the reams of offending material to back up this claim.

I don't disbelieve you, but I don't believe you either. You get a yellow bead.

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