Fact-checking site Snopesis launching a membership program to expand its staff, update the website and build out other tools.
In a post titled “Supercharging Snopes for 2020,” the 10-person editorial team behind Snopes writes: “As we enter the next election cycle — and a new decade — we need to supercharge Snopes to light the way for more readers: hire additional fact-checkers and developers, upgrade our website, and bolster our unique expertise to catch and crush rumors at scale. And we need your help to do it.”
Snopes has a fully remote newsroom spread across eight states.
The 25-year-old site is inundated with “literally thousands of inquiries pouring into our inbox every week.”
“We can’t keep up,” the Snopes team writes. “We need your help to build tools and resources to identify and counter false claims on a massive scale.”
Readers can choose to donate any amount they wish in $5 increments, or pay $30 to become a “Founding Member,” which offers benefits like an ad-free experience, a members-only newsletter and a Founding Member digital community badge.
The more readers give, the more branded swag they get, such as a limited-edition enamel pin, a T-shirt, pens, sticker pack, water bottle, journal, mug, tote or power bank.
For $250, a reader can receive all of the above.
While most of these features will roll out in spring 2020, some benefits, like the members newsletter, kick off immediately.
Snopes will not launch a paywall.
“We are in the process of building brand new features, such as sophisticated crowdsourcing and fact-checking tools and an expert-curated news feed, which will act as counterweights to algorithm-driven echo chambers. We’re also updating our search engine and amplifying our distribution capabilities,” the Snopes team writes.
“And we are building much of this ourselves, instead of relying so heavily on third parties. The more we invest in ourselves, the more fiercely independent Snopes will remain.”