Snopes Defends Fact-checking Stories on Christian Satire Site The Babylon Bee

Snopes has fired back at claims that fact-checking stories on Babylon Bee are unnecessary, posting an article from an academic research site which claims that many believe the popular Christian satire site’s posts.

Snopes posted an article from The Conversation titled “Too Many People Think Satirical News Is Real” last Friday, that was written by R. Kelly Garrett, professor of communication; Robert Bond, associate professor of communication; and Shannon Poulsen, doctoral student in communication, from Ohio State University.

“Over the last several months, we’ve surveyed Americans’ beliefs about dozens of high-profile political issues. We identified news stories – both true and false – that were being shared widely on social media,” explained the researchers.

“We discovered that many of the false stories weren’t the kind that were trying to intentionally deceive their readers; they actually came from satirical sites, and many people seemed to believe them.”

The Ohio State researchers asked a sample of 800 Americans whether they believed 120 “widely shared falsehoods.” They found that “stories published by The Bee were among the most shared factually inaccurate content in almost every survey we conducted.”

“Members of both parties failed to recognize that The Babylon Bee is satire, but Republicans were considerably more likely to do so,” continued the researchers.

“Of the 23 falsehoods that came from The Bee, eight were confidently believed by at least 15% of Republican respondents.”

The study also found that nine of the widely believed falsehoods came from The Onion, a satirical news site with a more liberal slant, and that with those satirical stories, “Democrats were more often fooled, though they weren’t quite as credulous.”

Kyle Mann, editor-in-chief of the Babylon Bee, denounced the research on Twitter, taking issue with the researchers paraphrasing the satirical story claims when asking their sample.

“That survey @snopes shared is horrible. Did they seriously paraphrase Bee stories and ask people if they thought they were true? That’s an awful way to figure out what percentage of people will believe satire,” tweeted Mann. 

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski