The founder of the popular Christian website The Babylon Bee is calling out Snopes for continually writing "hit pieces" about its satirical stories under the guise of "fact-checking" the news.
Adam Ford, a Christian comic artist who sold the Babylon Bee in May 2018 to pursue other projects, posted a series of tweets last week denouncing Snopes’ most recent critique of the Bee.
At issue is a July 22 satire story on the Babylon Bee titled "Georgia Lawmaker Claims Chick-Fil-A Employee Told Her To Go Back To Her Country, Later Clarifies He Actually Said 'My Pleasure.'"
The satire piece came in response to an actual incident involving Georgia Democrat state Rep. Erica Thomas, who accused a white man at Publix of racially berating her and saying “go back where you came from.”
Later, the individual who verbally attacked Thomas stepped forward, acknowledging the argument but denying that he used the “go back” phrase. A Publix employee who witnessed the incident agreed that the individual did not use the term.
On July 24, Snopes published a fact-check of the Bee's satire story, stating that the satire site made “an apparent attempt to maximize the online indignation.”
“We're not sure if fanning the flames of controversy and muddying the details of a news story classify an article as ‘satire,’” read the Snopes entry.
“The Babylon Bee has managed to fool readers with its brand of satire in the past. This particular story was especially confusing for some readers, however, as it closely mirrored the events of a genuine news story, with the exception of the website’s changing the location from ‘Publix’ to the more controversial Chick-Fil-A.”
In his lengthy Twitter thread posted soon after the Snopes' fact-check was published, Ford took exception to their entry, labeling it “particularly egregious and, well, kind of disturbing.”
“An ‘apparent attempt to maximize the online indignation’? What a subjective and malicious statement! This is a ‘fact check’?” tweeted Ford.
“We ‘published a fictionalized version of the story’? That's certainly an interesting way of saying we satirized an absurd real-life event. You know, that thing that all satirical outlets do.”
Ford went on to label the Snopes entry a “hit piece” that falsely placed malicious intentions on the Babylon Bee’s work while not treating other satire sites like The Onion in a similar manner.
“They've ascribed dark motives to the Bee while laughing off Onion fact-checks like HAHAA GUYS, ‘of course’ it's satire! OF COURSE! Some readers just got confused,” continued Ford.
“The Bee has been ‘Snoped’ plenty of times before (and had to endure Facebook purgatory once because of it). But what they've written this time certainly seems like an attempt to delegitimize and demonize an important satirical outlet, and that is totally unacceptable.”
In 2018, Facebook threatened the Babylon Bee with demonetization and reduced reach on the social media site after Snopes fact-checked a Bee satire story poking fun at CNN.
Facebook later apologized for the censorship threat, telling the Daily Caller that it was a “mistake” on their part and promising that it “won't count against the domain in any way.”