Even a hint of sex scandal a few years ago would tank the career of a business executive championing integrity while embracing sinful pleasures in the dark.
Online endeavors can produce a wealthy change in lifestyle that creates temptation to weave a web of indulgence in the brick-and-mortar world.
All is hidden until another web wonder exposes the dark pleasures to everyone operating in the light.
The co-founder of popular fact-checking website Snopes, which is working with Facebook, has been accused by his ex-wife of embezzling from the company and blowing the money on vacations and prostitutes.
The Daily Mail reports the CEO of Snopes, David Mikkelson, is embroiled in a vicious legal battle with his former wife and Snopes co-founder Barbara Mikkelson. The couple divorced sometime around 2014, but legal proceedings have continued between the couple.
The lewd revelation follows an announcement last week that Snopes would be helping Facebook to determine and label “fake news” with the help of ABC News and Politifact.
No confirmation yet from when Snopes will begin its “fake news” flagging operations on the social media platform. Facebook’s official announcement of the operation can be read here.
Barbara Mikkelson has claimed that her former husband embezzled money from the company. Court documents obtained by the Daily Mail state that Barbara accused David of “raiding the corporate business Bardav bank account for his personal use and attorney fees.” Barbara also claims that David embezzled $98,000 over four years, which “he expended upon himself and the prostitutes he hired.” Barbara claims that David spent $10,000 from their business accounts between April and June of 2016 to fund an expensive 24-day holiday for him and his “girlfriend.”
David Mikkelson apparently likes having his high-priced fantasy world nearby and appears to have brought that world to work.
According to the Daily Mail, David has remarried since his divorce from Barbara in 2014. His current wife, Elyssa Young, works as an administrative worker at Snopes. She previously had a lengthy career as an escort and adult film star working under the name Erin O’Bryn.
Reviews for Young’s “services” have been left on her personal escort website as recently as 2015. Young’s websites and Twitter account describe her as “a mature and experienced courtesan, idealist, activist & dreamer.”
Enjoying a dream night with the escort may explain the need to embezzle a lot of money.
Her website further states, “Here’s the donation I request for my time, companionship, and entertainment” with “non-negotiable” rates of $1,200 for her minimum four hours and $5,000 for 24 hours.
Asking Snopes to join the fact-checking in Facebook has been controversial from the start. Many believes Snopes is less accurate than many of the “fake news” sites it will investigate.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, David Mikkelson stated that Snopes did not have a “standardized procedure” for fact-checking “since the nature of this material can vary widely.” He also stated that the process “involves multiple stages of editorial oversight, so no output is the result of a single person’s discretion.”
When asked about the requirements for becoming an employee at Snopes, Mikkelson stated, “Accordingly, our editorial staff is drawn from diverse backgrounds; some of them have degrees and/or professional experience in journalism, and some of them don’t.”
Inviting Snopes to fact-check potential fake news is like hiring a pimp to run vice squad investigations into prostitution.
While the adage “it takes one to know one” might fit when routing fake news, it’s not the best way for the world’s leading social media platform to attack the issue.
David Mikkelson has shown he doesn’t mind skirting the truth to satisfy his curiosities, so it’s likely Snopes and its staff will be looking in a mirror when checking into fake news.