In a glaring example of left-leaning bias, “fact-checking” site Snopes faced intense backlash on social media for its dubious handling of a photo featuring President Biden wearing a hard hat backward. The controversy kicked off when Sen. Amy Klobuchar shared the viral photo, prompting Snopes to conduct an initial fact-check on Friday.
In its first fact-check, Snopes boldly claimed that, despite appearances, the hardhat was facing forward after a supposedly meticulous comparison with other photos and videos of the event. However, the left-leaning website soon found itself mired in criticism on social media, leading to a surprising about-face in its fact-checking approach.
Snopes fact-check: “Biden wore a hard hat backwards” is misinformation
Who are you going to believe:
Snopes or your lying eyes? pic.twitter.com/p30Qu0uWlY
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) January 27, 2024
The revised stance from Snopes acknowledged a counter-argument suggesting that if the hat’s suspension is configured to the back, wearing it with the bill forward should be considered effectively wearing it backward. The strap and tightening knob on Biden’s forehead were presented as supporting evidence for this questionable conclusion.
In a move that only fueled suspicions of bias, the editors’ note accompanying the reversal unabashedly defended the decision, claiming they found the arguments sound and consequently re-rating the claim as true. This sudden flip-flop raised eyebrows and intensified accusations of Snopes serving as a left-leaning purveyor of disinformation.
Critics, including Real Clear Politics senior writer Mark Hemingway, seized on the incident to highlight what they perceive as a glaring double standard, suggesting that a similar lenient fact-check would never have been extended to a Republican figure. The credibility of fact-checking organizations, particularly those with a perceived left-leaning tilt like Snopes, came under intense scrutiny.
— NeverTweet (@LOLNeverTweet) January 27, 2024
Even entrepreneur Elon Musk didn’t shy away from expressing his skepticism, labeling Snopes as a “political psy-op.” This sentiment resonated with a growing number of voices on social media, amplifying concerns about the potential for fact-checking platforms to act as conduits for left-leaning disinformation.
Adding fuel to the fire, Snopes’ past retractions, such as one involving Elon Musk’s Starlink company and the disappearance of the OceanGate submersible in June 2023, were brought into the spotlight. Critics pointed to these instances as further evidence of Snopes’ questionable fact-checking practices and its seemingly partisan agenda.