Where fake news goes to die

Updated 3:04 PM ET, Fri March 10, 2017

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Calabasas, California (CNN)The command center in the war against fake news isn't in some network's conference room or tech startup's offices. It's in a large ranch home nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, just north of Los Angeles.

It's here, in a long, wood-paneled room, that David Mikkelson works to keep the Internet safe from urban legends, falsehoods and lies with his myth-busting website, Snopes.com.
On this particular day, the day after President Trump's big speech to Congress, Mikkelson and his staff are checking out a claim from social media that some prominent Democrats refused to stand and applaud when Trump honored a Navy SEAL's widow during his address.
"It's not true," Mikkelson chuckles to himself, while doing research on the computer at his desk. And he's right. Snopes determined, by examining video coverage of the speech, that the pictures used in social media posts -- of Democrats sitting and not clapping -- were from an earlier part of Trump's speech and not from when the president honored the widow. Mikkelson rated the claim "false."
It's what Mikkelson, the co-owner and co-founder of Snopes, has been doing for more than two decades.
Name a meme or myth that sounds shady, and he and his team have probably busted it.
    That time Donald Trump said Republicans are "the dumbest group of voters?" There's no proof he ever said it.
    Fearful that Facebook is going to start charging? For the umpteenth time, no it's not.
    Saw proof that Bigfoot is real? Nope, that was just another elaborate hoax.
    Snopes is the first place a lot of people go when they're not quite sure about what they've seen online. But Mikkelson and others who run the site have aspirations to be more than just a debunker of fake news.
    They want it to be a place where people come for real news, too.
    Snopes is the name of a family of characters who appear in novels by William Faulkner. Mikkelson's Calabasas home contains a series of Faulkner Snopes books.

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