Snopes fact checks a wide variety of information including urban legends, old wives' tales, questionable news stories, Internet rumors and spurious e-mail forwards. Snopes also investigates rumors about itself, such as the rumor that it derives funding from the Marxist group Democratic Alliance or billionaire George Soros. Nevertheless, Snopes proclaims its independence and other sources, such as FactCheck.org, confirm Snopes' independence.
Californians Barbara and David Mikkelson run Snopes, who founded the website in 1995 after meeting in a newsgroup. Most of the rumors Snopes researches come from reader inquiries. Some of the most common rumors Snopes addresses relate to safety and health, especially food-related legends, such as fast food filled with earthworms or Styrofoam.
Many of the rumors and legends Snopes researches have some basis in fact or misinterpreted facts distorted through multiple repetition, leaving stories and reports skewed and inaccurate. Site founder David Mikkelson considers this misinterpretation similar to the kid's broken telephone game. Often old urban legends show up again on the Internet with the names and dates changed. Snopes generally rates urban legends as true, false or a mixture of both. Snopes encourages readers to check its research, and the website shows all of its sources for each article.