Its so sad and depressing when the “fact-checking” sites get stuff wrong, because they are the ones you rely on to arbitrate disputes on what is and isn’t true. I can’t tell if Snopes was just misled with wrong information or if they are deliberately publishing fake news. For all our sake I hope it is the former, because the number of people who think this site is the holy grail of news reporting is quite alarming.
The fact checking website published an article in defense of Moldylocks (The anti-fa girl) titled “Was a protester throwing explosives into Berkeley Crowd before she was punched?” which they labeled as “Mostly false”. First of all, the specific framing of the headline alone gives the impression that Snopes has already taken the position that she is innocent and want to defend her by focusing on an unimportant detail – something they have been accused of doing in the past.
I have actually read a few of their articles that do the same thing. Let me give you an example to illustrate how this method of deceit works:
Lets say a senator gets caught red-handed raping a 12 year old girl, and someone suggests on Twitter that the senator may have raped her using a TV remote. Lets also say that there is a lot of dispute online as to whether the rape happened or not. To defend the senator, instead of publishing an article titled “Did senator X rape a girl” and labeling it as “true”, Snopes publishes an article titled “Did Senator X rape a girl with a remote” and label it as “false”. They then spend the entire article explaining that he couldn’t have possibly raped her with a remote, only bothering to state in a later part of the article that the rape did happen (although not with a remote). They are technically telling the truth, but still manage to mislead a lot of the public who don’t read past the first 2 paragraphs of any article. Someone is going to read only the headline and first two paragraphs and conclude that the senator is innocent of the rape charges.
Which brings us to today. Snopes spent about 1/3 of their article explaining that Moldylocks didn’t throw explosives into the crowd – a total non issue. Most of the allegations against her are that she went there to cause disruption (as evidenced by the Facebook post she made prior to the event), she was caught on camera justifying violence (which Snopes admitted in their article) and that she was holding a glass bottle (Snopes admitted this in their article too. Just wait till you hear how they explain it). Almost nobody (apart from one unknown website that Snopes referenced in their article) actually accused her of throwing explosives (Since there is no evidence of it) and yet, it is this particular accusation that Snopes chose to focus on, not any of the other accusations that have been verified. Snopes then spends the other 1/3 of the article explaining that Nathan Damigo, the guy who punched her, was a white supremacist – also a non issue, since this this isn’t relevant to whether she threw bottles or not…. but hey, I’m not going to defend a white supremacist. The aim here of course, was to paint her as the victim. Because if the person you get into a confrontation with is a “bad guy”, then that makes you by default a good guy.
Notice how I didn’t bring up the fact that the girl in question is a pornstar? That’s because it has no relevance to the question of whether she threw bottles or not. Something Snopes should read about.
Now let’s assume that everything I have said so far is just a crazy conspiracy theory or that Snopes just happened to be wrong unintentionally. Let’s see how Snopes explains the bottle. Its practically impossible to deny the bottle, since she was pictured holding it and has even admitted to it. In order to resolve the dispute, Snopes reached out to her for a comment……. because when trying to decide whether someone did something or not, the best unbiased source to seek information from is the person them-self. She told them that she was holding the bottle because she was helping to clean the trash in the street:
I was not holding a bottle in the video, especially after the smoke bomb went off. I held one when I helped clear the trash burning, but left it on the street. Please watch the video, there is no bottle, and if you notice my “arm” that is holding the bottle, has no shadowing like the rest of my arm, and the “hand” that is holding it is not really a whole looking hand, as well as the coloring, the shadowing, and the highlights on the bottle are the exact same in the other picture I sent you, which is indeed doctored, and so is that screenshot. That man in the red sweater, with the blonde hair, is actually the guy who not only assaulted my boyfriend, but was the one who kneed me in the head multiple times, I’m quite sure.
What’s worse? Snopes believed her, even though video evidence shows her holding (and possibly intending to throw) a glass bottle right before she was punched. That’s right. The reason a woman wearing a mask to hide her face was holding a bottle during a riot, is so she could help clean the trash in the street. Anarchists are well known for their policy of not littering the environment. Snopes’s final conclusion:
It’s possible that Rosealma was simply cleaning up trash when a fight broke out. It’s also possible that the bottle was being used as a weapon (either in defense or aggression). However, the claim that this bottle was filled with explosives is completely unfounded.
Way to investigate and reach reasonable conclusions, Snopes. The idea that a self described anarchist went to a riot to “clean the street of trash” is equally as possible as the idea that she went there to be an anarchist. Both likelihoods are absolutely on the same level of possibility. Are we forgetting the part where she made a Facebook post prior to the event about her intentions to bring back “100 Nazi scalps”? The same post where she stated explicitly that her motive was to “disrupt” the event? How do you go from that to “she was there to clean up the streets”? The “100 Nazi scalps” post has now been deleted from her Facebook Page (I wonder why). Interesting enough, Snopes chose not to bring it up in their article: