Snopes co-founder published 50-plus plagiarized articles under 3 different bylines

Snopes co-founder published 50-plus plagiarized articles under 3 different bylines
Image: Snopes

[Ed. – Fact checks you can trust.]

Snopes co-founder David Mikkelson plagiarized 54 articles under three different bylines between 2015 and 2019, a Buzzfeed News report that was published Friday revealed.

Mikkelson published the content under his own name, his pseudonym “Jeff Zarronandia,” or a generic “Snopes staff” byline, according to the report.

Doreen Marchionni, the fact-checking site’s vice president of editorial and managing editor, suspended Mikkelson from his editorial duties as Snopes performs “a comprehensive internal investigation,” Buzzfeed reported. Mikkelson is still a 50% shareholder and an officer at Snopes.

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In a statement published by Buzzfeed, Marchionni and Snopes COO Vinny Green said that the internal investigation began in late July/early August after Buzzfeed reporter Dean Sterling Jones contacted Marchionni about the plagiarized content. Green flagged 140 articles that were published under the generic byline for review and “identified other possible issues beyond Buzzfeed’s findings,” Snopes’ statement said.

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