It’s sad that this should happen to Snopes – but if ever there was a lesson to be had about controlling your own digital presence – this has to be close to number one.
We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage. Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.
I don’t’ know exactly what is going on – (though the Atlantic has a great read on it) but to me it bottoms out to the fact that the Snopes team did not have a secure way to handle the admin access to their site and the people that do have it are not handing it over. Legal arguments aside, if they still controlled their own DNS – they wouldn’t be in this position …. would they?