Snopes COO On Funding Its Mission During A Pandemic

Social Distancing With Friends

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When your well-meaning mother posts something on Facebook, Snopes is where you go to fact-check.

In fact, one reader was so appreciative of the ability to send her mother links correcting her Facebook posts, she donated to Snopes, according to Chief Operating Officer Vinny Green. He’ll read off some recent notes of gratitude that accompanied donations during this episode of Social Distancing with Friends.

Vinny Green SnopesDiversifying revenue through a membership program, ecommerce and tip jar is a relatively new venture that’s part of Snopes’ goal to make its revenue more sustainable and in line with its mission of independence. The site is trying to rely more on readers – and less on advertisers or platforms – to fund its fact-checking and its increasing focus on investigative journalism.

But to focus more on consumer revenue, Snopes has also had to improve its ad tech. Early into the pandemic, its team connected with The Washington Post’s Zeus and switched to faster ad tech in order to improve its readers’ experience.

Independence remains paramount. Green talks about how Snopes walked away from a fact-checking deal with Facebook and was an early adopter of header bidding, which reduced its dependence on Google for advertising.

“When it comes to where the money comes from, my priority is what revenue affords us the most opportunity and independence,” Green said.

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