On the FactCheck page, The Associated Press tracks down some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals that were shared widely on social media. The AP takes those untrue stories, checks them out and sets the records straight in this weekly series of news articles.
CLAIM: A photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy filming in front of a green screen shows he was “never in his own land.”
CLAIM: Medication abortions are dangerous, and result in high rates of infection and hemorrhage. Parts of the baby are also left in the womb following the procedure.
CLAIM: A drag performer flashed their genitals to children while reading aloud in a Minnesota library.
CLAIM: A photo shows actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wearing a T-shirt with the phrase “Keep America Trumpless” on it.
CLAIM: A headline states “UN Warns of Massive Refugee Movement from Africa: 500 Million People On Their Way to Europe.”
CLAIM: An executive with the energy company BP named Brice Cromwell wrote a post arguing that high gas prices in the U.S are due to excessive imports of foreign oil and insufficient domestic oil production.
THE FACTS: There is no such executive at BP and the statement did not come from the company, a spokesperson for BP confirmed.
CLAIM: Transgender children as young as 5 years old are being given hormones to transition.
THE FACTS: Experts say young transgender children who haven’t reached puberty are offered support, not medical interventions. But a widely shared tweet suggested that 5-year-olds are receiving hormone treatments, likening it to children driving cars or smoking.
CLAIM: A Pfizer document reveals that 82 percent-97 percent of pregnant women who received the company’s COVID-19 vaccine “lost their babies.”
THE FACTS: The flawed calculation misrepresents a narrow subset of data from a Pfizer database of adverse events recorded during the first two months of the vaccine rollout.
CLAIM: Rifles caused 454 deaths in the United States in 2020, while COVID-19 vaccines caused 20,622 deaths in the United States in 2021.
THE FACTS: The claim that 20,000 people have died from COVID-19 vaccines misrepresents data maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
CLAIM: A digital screen at a Costco gas pump reads, “Don’t blame us. Blame Joe Biden.”
CLAIM: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the company’s dream is to “reduce the population by 50%” in 2023.
CLAIM: Two different men were identified in TV news interviews as the father of one of the children killed in the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, proof that the shooting was a “hoax.”
CLAIM: A new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna shows COVID-19 mRNA vaccines “hurt long-term immunity to Covid after infection.”
CLAIM: Photos shared on Reddit of a woman — wearing a Coca-Cola sweatshirt and black skirt in one picture and a NASA shirt in another — show Salvador Ramos, who officials say fatally shot 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Another photo of a woman holding a green bottle to her mo…
CLAIM: The recent cases of monkeypox are actually just shingles, and the cases are a result of the COVID-19 vaccine.
CLAIM: The chimpanzee adenovirus vector used in AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is causing the monkeypox outbreak.
CLAIM: ABC News published an altered photo of the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school gunman in which his skin was lightened and his facial features were changed.
CLAIM: Pfizer received FDA approval for a new monkeypox shot the day after the U.S. purchased millions of dollars worth of vaccine for the disease.
CLAIM: The current baby formula shortage was created by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates because he invested in a company that makes artificial breast milk.
CLAIM: When former President Donald Trump was in charge, 18 months went by in Afghanistan when “we didn’t lose one American soldier.”
CLAIM: The Biden administration is proposing amendments to the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations that would transfer U.S. sovereign authority over health care decisions to the WHO director-general.
CLAIM: NASA’s Mars rover has captured images of a doorway cut into a mountainside of the red planet, suggesting the presence of extraterrestrial life.