A gaggle of specious blogs and social media accounts set about inflaming tensions for their followers in a set of posts reminiscent of other fake controversies. The posts center on vaguely-worded “threats” and wide-ranging military deploym
A back-to-school themed Facebook warning shared on September 5 2019 (archived here) declared that all school-age children must avoid all school bus stops because of an increased threat of human trafficking: Against a pastel background, black text d
In a July 31 television interview, Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson inaccurately implied there might be a connection between vaccines and higher reported rates of childhood chronic diseases. Williamson is correct that reported rate
On August 18 2019, Facebook page “Smooth AF” shared a screenshot of a tweet claiming that University of Findlay students had discovered a chemical compound that “kills glioblastoma cells”: At the top of the image was an August
After making baseless claims of voter fraud, the president has turned to a new way of explaining his loss of the popular vote in 2016.
Summary In the absence of information about how sex offender Jeffrey Epstein managed to die in prison by an apparent suicide on Aug. 10, outlandish conspiracy theories have cropped up across the political spectrum. Among the more prominent theories
Unfounded claims and baseless conspiracy theories have run rampant in the aftermath of the Aug. 10 death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. The misinformation has flourished in an online environment where people want to know how the high-profi
Quick Take Viral posts claim there was a “camera malfunction” at the prison housing accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein before his death. Officials have not confirmed that. Full Story As federal officials probe the circumstances surroundi
Conspiracy theories circulated broadly and relentlessly after the August 10 2019 death of high-profile convicted sex offender and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in federal custody, including claims that widely published “gurney photos
On August 10 2019, news broke that jailed financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide in a Metropolitan Correctional Center jail cell, immediately prompting a flood of conspiracy theories: Among those rumors was a claim
Prior to departing for visits to El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 7, President Donald Trump rejected the premise that his rhetoric has divided the country, as his critics have claimed. He said “my rhetoric … brings people together.
In the aftermath of two deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, U.S. political leaders made a series of statements on gun violence that were unsubstantiated, lacked context or were seemingly contradictory. Here we look at some of those statements and
In February 2019, the Facebook page “Country n garden” shared a post (archived here) borrowed from another source, which claimed that cornmeal is an effective substance in home gardens to prevent the spread of weeds: Above an image of
SCIENTISTS’ FEEDBACK SUMMARY This commentary by Ian Plimer, published by The Australian, criticizes a political leader’s stance on climate change, but makes a number of verifiably false claims about climate science and energy systems as
In an interview about the Mueller report, Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, distorted the facts in repeatedly making the case that there was “no obstruction” by Trump. Giuliani claimed “there is overwhelmin
This week’s fact-checking video by CNN’s Jake Tapper tackles a few of the many falsehoods that President Donald Trump made at the annual National Republican Congressional Committee spring dinner in Washington, D.C. Speaking about wind tur
During an April 2 speech to the National Republican Congressional Committee, President Donald Trump once again attacked wind power, falsely claiming that noise from turbines causes cancer and that turbines sink property values by 75 percent. The pres
In a two-hour address to the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 2, President Donald Trump made questionable and false claims about the fight against ISIS, tariffs and African American income. He also repeated a bevy of claims we’v
On January 13 2019, Facebook user Steve Raabe shared a photograph purportedly showing a sign at the U.S.-Mexico border, along with the following status update: I live on the border with Mexico. As a matter of fact, I live right on the edge. I was rais
In declaring a national emergency at the Southwest border, President Donald Trump strung together a long list of false, misleading and unsupported claims on illegal immigration, drug smuggling, human trafficking, trade deficits and other issues. We br
Summary President Donald Trump made several claims in his Feb. 11 political rally in El Paso that distorted the facts, including: He said “the trade deficit really went down very big this last month,” leaving out the fact that the previous month w
Quick Take Despite claims made in a viral meme, Lou Dobbs of Fox Business Network has not reported that “Mexican drug cartels are paying Pelosi and Schumer millions to keep border open.” Full Story The political debate over building a wal
Quick Take A baseless claim about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s health is circulating on social media. Full Story Shortly after Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on New Year’s Eve that she has formed an exploratory committee for president, an inte
On December 20 2018, the Facebook page Teanderthal Party posted the following meme about healthcare, “illegal immigration,” terror attacks, and the mortality rate in the United States: It stated: FACT: More Americans die every year from la
On January 1, 2019, British far-right activist Tommy Robinson (née Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon) shared a post with photographs of an injured man, claiming that fifteen Muslim men had seriously assaulted a British serviceman one day prior in Ba
A meme with the claim that the word “bar” is an acronym for “beer and alcohol room” suddenly appeared in late December 2018: The meme was virtually identical in both presentation and format to a similar post claiming the word
Summary All this month, we’re celebrating 15 years of holding politicians accountable. We’ve been writing about false and misleading viral claims for nearly as long. Early on, we mostly fact-checked viral messages in the form of chain email
Sigh. Was the Clinton Foundation ordered to cease operations and was Chelsea Clinton charged with fraud? No, the same old hoax story that originally came from a liberal satire weblog has gone viral again via a copy on a siite run by a Macedon
FactCheck.org turns 15 years old today. Since our launch on Dec. 5, 2003, fact-checking political claims has become a worldwide phenomenon, with 162 fact-checking websites currently active, according to the Reporters’ Lab at Duke University. Jou
An annual caravan of people traveling from Central America to the United States to seek asylum and refuge from extreme violence in their home countries has been beset by falsehoods, lies, and disinformation from start to finish — from baseless claim
In this week’s fact-checking video, CNN’s Jake Tapper looks at several dubious claims about voter fraud in Florida. Tapper begins with a claim President Donald Trump made in an interview with the Daily Caller on Nov. 14, in which he accused Democra
A man with ties to some of the most violent hate groups in the United States has been arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms just weeks after his younger brother — also reportedly a known white supremacist — committed suicide. A
As a community reeled in the aftermath of a mass shooting that left 13 people dead, a baseless, Islamaphobic, fear-mongering rumor about the identity of the shooter was floated online.
Q: Was Cesar Sayoc, the man suspected of sending pipe bombs to high-profile liberals, photographed with “a Billionaire Democrat donor”? A: No. The man in the photo with Sayoc is a retired soccer coach and his former teammate who has no re
Q: Is there a bogus viral meme circulating online that purports to show Holocaust survivor George Soros as a Nazi soldier? A: It is bogus. The photo in the meme is of a Nazi guard who died earlier this year. It is not Soros. SHORT ANSWER Tonight I s
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has referred a possible scam to the Federal Bureau of Investigation after a number of reporters were contacted by someone apparently shopping a story about him sexually assaulting unidentified women: 13 days ago I received this tip alleging an attempt to pay off women to make up accusations of sexual misconduct […]
The post Special Counsel’s Office Asks FBI to Investigate Smear Scheme appeared first on Truth or Fiction?.
Editor’s Note: For weeks, President Donald Trump has been campaigning in states that are key to the Republican Party’s chances of maintaining control of the House and Senate. We have reviewed seven speeches he gave from Oct. 10 to Oct. 22.
A baseless social media rumor led some readers to believe U.S. soldiers were being sent to the Mexican border in response to a Central American migrant caravan.
In the final weeks of October 2018, following months of increasingly shrill, increasingly baroque conspiracy theories pushed by official after elected official, someone began sending mail bombs out to their favorite subjects. The first person to receive a mail bomb was philanthropist billionaire George Soros, who has been the American far right’s favorite bugbear at least […]
The post Makeshift Bombs Sent to Subjects of Major Conspiracy Theories appeared first on What’s True?.