Applicant: David Mikkelson
Assessor: Steve Fox
Conclusion and recommendations
Steve Fox wrote:
Overall, Snopes is a fact-checking site that many people know about. It has a strong reputation by word-of-mouth and my guess is that a lot of their traffic comes from Google searches, such as “Snopes and Trump wire-tapping.” But those who might come to the site to search for items will discover a site that is not well-designed and a bit confusing with a large amount of links on its top-level and left-hand navigation. The site could use some improved navigation overall but also improved navigation to let readers know about the various items on the “About” page. Especially in the current political environment, fact-checking sites need to be transparent about their Methodology, Topic Selection, Rating System and Sourcing. My recommendation is these links as well as a link to the “About” Page become part of the left-hand navigation throughout the site. This information should be prominent and easy accessible so people can figure out how the site comes to its conclusions.
Snopes also needs to be more transparent about its Correction/Update system. The editors need to call a correction for what is and not hide behind the vague “update” designation. Also, the correction/update needs a call-out on the article and needs to be visually prominent, not buried at the bottom of the article which seems to be the current policy.