An article claiming that billionaire financier George Soros was arrested for interference in the 2020 US election has received hundreds of shares and thousands of views on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The report includes an image of a purported indic
Do many studies find that cloth masks don't stop viruses like COVID? No, that's not true: An article making that claim does not cite any recent or specific studies showing masks don't work. To the contrary, the Centers for Disease Control
An activist group combating the proliferation of white supremacist propaganda online accused Facebook in a November 2020 report of failing to act when alerted to the spread of one such network on its platforms in 2018. “Facebook’s leadersh
On November 22 2020, a Reddit user shared the following image to r/facepalm, which purported to show a Giant Food “super spread” advertisement: No way this went unnoticed from facepalm The post, which was an image
REVIEW Several reports on the findings of a face mask study conducted in Denmark, which was published in the scientific journal Annals of Internal Medicine, went viral on Facebook within a day of publication, receiving a total of more than 18,000
The chaos and confusion that Trump has created isn’t the byproduct of his strategy following his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden. The chaos and confusion is the strategy.
Does the first study of an effective COVID-19 vaccine show that it only reduces symptoms without stopping transmission? No, that's not true: The transmission part of the study is not complete, so it's too soon to say, either way. But, amo
The transition periods between presidential administrations are known to be sensitive. This one has been chaos.
US President Donald Trump tweeted a claim that 221,000 votes were switched from him to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, and that others were changed or deleted elsewhere. This is false; Pennsylvania’s Department of State
REVIEW An article published by The Federalist on 29 October 2020 claims that face masks are ineffective at reducing the spread of COVID-19. In support of its claim, the article cites several scientific studies and shows 12 graphs comparing COVID-19
The day after the 2020 presidential election was called for Joe Biden, the communications director for Donald Trump’s campaign tweeted a photo of a newspaper front page announcing Al Gore’s victory 20 years earlier to highlight an alleged mistake b
“If you count the ballot fraud, most pollsters clearly failed. If you don’t include the fraudulent ballots, most pollsters failed on a spectacular scale [...] It therefore defies logic Biden secured more votes than Barack Obama. If only va
As Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden began pulling ahead in the 2020 election, Twitter user @jdburney1 generated engagement and accrued followers by advancing a “watermarked ballots” conspiracy theory (which we archived h
Donald Trump’s son Eric claimed on Twitter that 80 ballots cast for the president were burned. This is false; the City of Virginia Beach said they were sample ballots, not ones used by voters.
Face masks with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the coronavirus spread.
An anonymous Twitter account presenting itself as political analysis set itself to spreading disinformation on the last night of the U.S. elections on November 3 2020. The account, which called itself “US Politics Polls,” posted several fa
REVIEW Articles such as this one claiming that “mouthwashes could help curb COVID-19” circulated on social media in October 2020, receiving more than 27,000 interactions on Instagram and Facebook in one week according to the social media analyti
Multiple Facebook and Instagram posts shared hundreds of times in October 2020 claim New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “bribed New Zealand mainstream media with NZ$125 million" taken from the country's taxpayers in order to win re-election.
Multiple posts shared repeatedly on Facebook and Twitter in October 2020 claim that more than 40 South Koreans have died after receiving a flu vaccine that was imported from China. The posts suggest that all flu vaccines recently administered in South
Americans who seek political insight and information on Twitter should know how much of what they are seeing is the result of automated propaganda campaigns.
Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim a group of Sri Lankan opposition politicians wore a sticker resembling a bullet wound in protest over the death of a notorious drug lord. The claim is misleading; a spokesperson for the group, who
Abbie Richards, a climate science student in the Netherlands, was looking with bewilderment at the state of her home country of the United States. So many conspiracy theories echoing, particularly ahead of the election. Struggling to wran
On October 24 2020, Twitter user Zack Bornstein shared a photograph of President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump… or was it? The only thing I'll miss from this administration is them swapping in new Melanias and just pretending we won
Multiple posts on Facebook and Naver, South Korea’s largest web portal, claim that 97% of sanitary towels in distribution in South Korea contain chemicals that can cause cancer. The claim, however, is misleading; the data cited in the misleading po
Multiple posts shared thousands of times on social media claim that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has died and secretly been buried. The claim follows Buhari’s delayed response to the recent shooting of peaceful protesters at an anti-police br
REVIEW A video showing a press conference from a group calling itself Doctors for Truth circulated on social media in mid-October 2020, receiving hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. In this conference, several individuals made claims about th
U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to share a piece of satire as if it were genuine news.
Did Twitter shut down its entire network to slow the spread of negative news about Joe Biden? No, that's not true: the story was published by The Bablylon Bee (a satire website) after Twitter did experience some downtime shortly after a c
Did a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report conclude masks are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19? No, that's not true: The study concluded new safety measures are needed at dining establishments because e
Quick Take A widely shared meme misrepresents Joe Biden’s endorsements. Biden hasn’t been endorsed by antifa or the Black Lives Matter organization, though BLM co-founders support him. And while President Donald Trump has been endorsed by the major
A video viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple Facebook, TikTok and YouTube posts claims a newspaper reported that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the new Philippine vice president. The claim is false; the article referenced in the video does not
Multiple online articles shared repeatedly on Facebook claim a “new virus” disease called severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) was spreading in China in September 2020. But the articles omit important details about the disease; while
Quick Take A viral image on social media is spreading a fabricated quote attributed to President Donald Trump. There’s no evidence the president ever said that doctors have “never seen a body kill the Coronavirus like my body,” and th
PolitiFact and MediaWise are teaming up to debunk misinformation about the coronavirus crisis. To have Coronavirus Facts delivered to your inbox weekly, click here. This edition of Coronavirus Facts is coming to you a day early because… well… *gest
The top U.S. public health agency said that the coronavirus can spread more than 6 feet through the air, especially in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces.
The depth of interest needed to comment and then share a political idea on Facebook will trigger more of the same and, potentially, take the user through increasing levels of radicalization.
US Attorney General Bill Barr said a Texas man committed voter fraud with 1,700 mail-in ballots, a claim repeated more than 30,000 times on Facebook. This is false; Barr’s office said the nation’s top law enforcement officer was inaccurately briefe
CDC first posted, and then retracted its take on how the coronavirus spreads from person to person through small droplets in the air.
A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo published in September 2020 alongside a claim it shows a fire started by a Chinese “spy” on the West Coast of the United States. The footage ha
REVIEW On 14 September 2020, the Chinese virologist Li-Meng Yan published a a pre-print (an unpublished draft of a science paper) on the website Zenodo claiming to provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was created in a la