Snopes updates assessment of Ashley Biden's diary from 'unproven' to 'true'

'I will forever have to deal with the fact that my personal journal can be viewed online,' Ashley Biden wrote in the letter, published online by the New York Times.

Snopes updates assessment of Ashley Biden's diary from 'unproven' to 'true'
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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Left-leaning fact-checking website Snopes has updated its assessment of the contents of a stolen diary belonging to President Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley Biden, confirming its contents. The article, originally published in early April, explored the claim that Ashley Biden's diary "describes actions taken toward her by her father when she was a child as 'probably not appropriate.'"

Initially, Snopes had rated the claim as "Unproven," but a revised version published recently changed the rating to "True." The update follows an April 8 letter to a New York judge, in which Ashley Biden requested jail time for one of the two people convicted of stealing her diary in the run-up to the 2020 election.

"I will forever have to deal with the fact that my personal journal can be viewed online," Ashley Biden wrote in the letter, published online by the New York Times.

Snopes noted that previous versions of the fact-check had acknowledged "strong evidence" of the diary's existence but argued that no source had authenticated the contents of the pages published online by National File.

The earlier iteration of the Snopes fact-check claimed that "the authenticity of photographs purported to be from a diary is a separate question from the factual existence of a diary." However, with the latest assessment, Snopes concluded that "Ashley Biden's letter to the court, in Snopes' view, provides that authentication."

In her letter to the court, Ashley Biden revealed that her journal was part of her efforts to heal after being the victim of a crime in her early 20s. She claimed that she was targeted because her father had been running for president and that the publicity surrounding the diary had led her to be "constantly re-traumatized by it."

Ashley Biden also expressed concern about the misinterpretation of her private writings, stating, "Repeatedly, I hear others grossly misinterpret my once-private writings and lob false accusations that defame my character and those of the people I love."

The confirmation of the diary's contents by Snopes has reignited discussions about the ethics of publishing private information and the impact such actions can have on individuals, particularly those in the public eye. The incident also highlights the challenges faced by fact-checking organizations in verifying and assessing the authenticity of sensitive information in an era of heightened political polarization and misinformation.

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