250: Snopes

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The MythBusters are even more sinister.
Title text: The MythBusters are even more sinister.


Snopes is a popular website for checking the validity of urban legends. Here, one Cueball asks the other to check before sending him urban legends. Cueball replies with another urban legend saying that Snopes, the website the first Cueball asks him to check, uses spam to keep their audience.

Naturally, it didn't take long for an urban legend to suggest that the proprietors of Snopes also direct a spam operation to create more urban legends and disseminate them, just so they'll continue to have an audience. One of the Cueballs tries to come to Snopes' defense, only to realize that the debunking was done by Snopes itself, creating a circular, invalid argument. (Snopes said we can trust Snopes, which we can trust because Snopes said we can trust Snopes, which we can trust because...)

The title text suggests that MythBusters, another group that debunks myths, also participate in the practice of spreading misinformation for the opportunity to test it. Indeed, the show has occasionally been accused of spending undue attention on unnecessary filler "myths" just for the sake of filling out the season.

In subsequent years, especially during the Obama and Trump administrations, Snopes has come under fire from right-wing commentators who have claimed that the site has a liberal or left-leaning bias; as in the third panel of this comic, these claims have been refuted by Snopes itself but also by other sites such as FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.


[Two Cueballs sit at a table across from each other, typing on their laptops.]
Cueball: Another urban legend? You should check out Snopes before sending me this stuff.
Friend: Oops; yeah.
Cueball: Man, Snopes is really great--independent fact-checkers trawling our collective discourse, filtering out misinformation.
[The Cueballs are still sitting at the table across from each other, looking at each other.]
Friend: Yeah, but they have their dark side. The couple that runs snopes.com also runs a network of spam servers that start many of those forwarded stories in the first place, ensuring they'll always have business.
[Cueball on the left is typing on his laptop, while the second Cueball is sitting, stunned.]
Cueball: That's absurd. Plus, it's definitely not true--it was debunked by...
Friend: Yes?
Cueball: ...Oh my God.


Snopes is also mentioned in the much later comic 1081: Argument Victory in a much more positive light.

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First!Unpopular Opinions (talk) 17:19, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Should it be mentioned that 509: Induced Current is related to the title text? 16:42, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

Oh my god is right. Z1mp0st0rz (talk) 20:15, 11 April 2024 (UTC)