An Update from Team Snopes Regarding the #SaveSnopes Campaign

We’ve made considerable progress, but we still need your help.

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Dear Readers,

Last July we informed you all about our difficulties with a vendor (Proper Media) who had been contracted to provide certain services for but would not acknowledge the lawful termination of that contract by us. The vendor would not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control and continued to insert their own advertisements on the site, withholding from us all the advertising revenue so generated.

Those actions put us in a perilous situation: We were deprived of operating funds for months on end, and we had to spend what reserves we had on legal fees in order to regain control of our site and reclaim the revenues that were withheld from us. We launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to fund our legal efforts, and more than 25,000 of you graciously contributed to that campaign and enabled us to continue our work during a difficult time.

We’d now like to provide you with an update on what your donations have enabled us to accomplish on the legal front:

  • On 12 July 2017, the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, granted our request for a Temporary Restraining Order in favor of Bardav, Inc. (’s parent corporation) and against Proper Media. As a result, Proper Media released $100,000 in revenue procured from the placement of advertisement on the website that they had been withholding. The court’s order provided much-needed funds that allowed to continue operating without having to lay off any staff.
  • On 22 August 2017, the Superior Court granted our request for a Preliminary Injunction against Proper Media and its principals. The injunction required Proper Media to transfer hosting of the web site back to our control and to cease withholding from us revenues procured from the placement of advertisements on the website. On the same day that our motion for preliminary injunction was granted, the court denied Proper Media’s request for an order that would have forced Bardav to continue a business relationship with Proper Media, and denied Proper Media’s request to remove David Mikkelson from Bardav’s board of directors.
  • On 18 October 2017, we successfully migrated to a new hosting provider and regained control of our advertising revenue stream.
  • On 15 February 2018, the Superior Court ruled that Proper Media is not a Bardav shareholder, and upheld the appointment of Brad Westbrook to Bardav’s board of directors.
  • On 22 February 2018, the Superior Court entered a judgment in favor of David Mikkelson dismissing all causes of action brought against him by Proper Media.

Despite these rulings in our favor, we still face significant challenges. As our efforts continue, so does our need for funding to sustain our ongoing operations, cover our legal fees, and help us expand to stem the rising tide of misinformation. In response to our GoFundMe campaign, many of you asked how you might support us on an ongoing basis. This campaign is the best way to do that right now.

Our need for support has not abated (particularly as our legal fees have exhausted all previously raised funds), so we are raising the cap on this campaign and keeping it active as our case proceeds through the legal system. If you are able to help us with our important work, thank you, and we will continue to provide periodic updates.

Sincerely yours,

Team Snopes

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