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Top 8 Most Read Snopes News Stories in 2021

Our newsroom does fact-based, explanatory journalism via two methods: fact checks with truth ratings or analytical news stories.

Published Dec 16, 2021

Snopes' fact checks always contain two elements: a concisely stated "claim" and a one- or two-word rating that objectively measures that assertion's veracity based on evidence we gathered from interviews, documents, data, or other credible sources.

But some rumors or trends that pop up on our newsroom's radar do not have a singular answer, or rating, at their core. Rather, they may contain numerous allegations with a ranging level of factualness; be part of a broader problem in our media ecosystem, or require reporting that best fits the format of a traditional news story — not a fact check.

[See here for an explanation of how we determine fact checks' ratings.]

In other words, we have two methods for doing fact-based, explanatory journalism: fact checks and news stories.

Below is a list of the latter group that were the most read, or received the most web views, in 2021. Likewise, we compiled our top 10 most popular fact checks in 2021 here.

Let us note here: A couple of the below-listed news stories — such as the No. 1 post that unpacks the criminal history of George Floyd and the No. 2 post about the people Kyle Rittenhouse shot in Kenosha — were published by Snopes' reporters before 2021. That meant that readers throughout the year were searching for, or stumbling across, the pre-2021 investigations and sharing them with others, thus raising their popularity to surpass that of more recent news stories.

[See also: 2021 Greatest Hits: Investigations From Snopes]


1. Background Check: Investigating George Floyd's Criminal Record (2020)

The question of past arrests often surfaces among people who want to rationalize police officers' actions when Black men are killed in custody.


    2. What's True and False About People Kyle Rittenhouse Shot in Kenosha (2020)

    Fans of the teenager launched an online campaign to smear the reputations of his victims.


      3. Did Bonne Maman Co. Shelter People During the Holocaust?

      The founders of the jam company can trace their business roots back to a small village in France.

      Image via Instagram.


      4. 'National Rape Day' Warning Circulates on TikTok

      Whether you call it a joke, prank, troll campaign or a hoax, there is no "National Rape Day" that provides legal immunity for sexual assault.

      Image via TikTok.


        5. Geert Vanden Bossche Stokes Fear of COVID-19 Vaccine To Promote His Own Flawed 'Solution'

        Anti-vaccine activists are promoting a veterinarian's claim that the only way to prevent a future COVID-19 vaccination-related calamity is through a product he claims to have invented.

        Image via Screencapture / geertvandenbossche.org


        6. Amy Schumer Trucker Photo, Explained

        The answer to all of your questions is "no."

        Image via Facebook / Celina 52 Truck Stop


        7. Farmer's Almanac Predicts 'Season of Shivers'

        The North American almanac has predicted weather for 230 years.

        Image via The Old Farmer’s Almanac


          8. Watch 'Space Mountain with the Lights On' at Disney World's Magic Kingdom

          "It's more scary with the lights on," read the TikTok comment with the most likes.

          Image via @shannonkittner/TikTok


            Want an issue deconstructed by Snopes' fact checkers in 2022? Submit your misinformation leads and questions to Snopes, subscribe to our newsletters, and support us financially by becoming a member or making a direct contribution.

            Jessica Lee is Snopes' Senior Assignments Editor with expertise in investigative storytelling, media literacy advocacy and digital audience engagement.

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