The first-ever study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated American children (and a subset study) published two weeks ago in the peer-reviewed Journal of Translational Science have reappeared online after briefly disappearing while under fire from a small band of Skeptics and the staff at Retraction Watch, an organization that reports Science retraction news. Snopes, the fact-checking website, is still misreporting that the study has been retracted, even while it sits, published, in the science journal’s pages. It is a troubling saga unfolding in the scientific publishing world, and it is worth paying attention to because it’s revealing of powerful forces in that realm that are trying to censor scientific research and to shield important data from public viewing.
Unless you've been living under a rock or hiding beneath the covers in your bed for the past couple of months, you've undoubtedly heard the war cries against "fake news." Facebook — being the largest social media site on which news is shared among millions — has vowed to take steps to limit the amount of "misinformation" that can be spread on its site by forwarding suspected fake news stories to fact-checkers like Snopes. The danger of giving certain entities the power to tag a news story as "fake" or "real" is clearly demonstrated by recent revelations about Snopes. After Facebook announced Snopes would be used to fact-check stories, The Daily Mail questioned Snopes' façade as a paragon of truth. Snopes was created in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson to explore the truth and fiction behind myths and urban legends (see video above). According to the Daily Mail's investigation into the company, the couple posed as "The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society" when they first started — a society that, in fact, does not exist as a legal entity. David has admitted they created the fake society, with official-looking stationary and all, "to help make the inquiries seem more legit." The Mikkelsons divorced in 2015, but are still locked in a heated legal battle over corporate and private funds. Barbara claims David embezzled $98,000 of company money, allegedly spending it on "himself and prostitutes," and used corporate funds for his personal use, including attorney's fees, without consulting her. David, on the other hand, claims he's been underpaid, and is demanding an "industry standard" rate of at least $360,000 per year. He's currently making $240,000 a year from Snopes. He also accuses Barbara of taking millions of dollars from their joint bank accounts to buy property. According to the Daily Mail, David's attorneys have also "blasted Barbara as 'a loose cannon who simply must have her way.'"