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.
THE FACTS: Experts say the small study that this claim is based on proves nothing, and that enough evidence now exists from well-run studies to indicate that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating COVID-19.
THE FACTS: Both virus variants and brain wave frequencies are named using letters from the Greek alphabet. But the names have no connection. As news about the delta COVID-19 variant made headlines, posts online began falsely claiming that the new variants were being named after brain waves o…
CLAIM: Photos show a boy who, at 11 years old, hacked the computer system of a Swiss bank and transferred $75 billion to his father’s account.
CLAIM: COVID-19 vaccines have resulted in some people becoming magnetic.
THE FACTS: COVID-19 vaccines do instruct the body to produce spike proteins that teach the immune system to combat the spikes on the coronavirus, but experts say these proteins are not toxic and do not damage organs. “The spike protein is immunogenic, meaning it causes an immune response, bu…
CLAIM: Video shows Pope Francis saying in Italian that “we are living in the end times,” that he has “a secret agenda” to deceive people and that he unites people under one world religion in order to “control them better,” among other foreboding messages.
THE FACTS: A trove of emails from Fauci, longtime director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was released to The Washington Post and Buzzfeed News through Freedom of Information Act requests.
THE FACTS: A video circulating widely on social media this week falsely claims to show the U.S. president standing at a podium and threatening to take people’s guns away. Text overlaid on the video aims to contrast it with current policies, falsely suggesting Biden’s administration is now “a…
CLAIM: Women who have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine are receiving letters instructing them to get screened for cervical cancer because the vaccine caused some 1,500 women to develop cervical cancer.
CLAIM: Airlines recently met to discuss the risks and liability of carrying passengers vaccinated against COVID-19 since they could develop blood clots.
THE FACTS: Birx, former coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, has not been arrested. This false claim spread as real after appearing on a website known for its satire and parody content. “U.S. Military Arrests Dr. Deborah Birx,” reads the headline of the story, which was publi…
THE FACTS: Dominion’s defamation lawsuits against Powell and Giuliani are ongoing, according to legal records. In January 2021, Dominion Voting Systems filed defamation lawsuits against Giuliani and Powell, claiming the lawyers falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential ele…
CLAIM: Video shows Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swallowing a fly during a Fox News interview.
CLAIM: Sweden has stopped using PCR tests to detect viruses.
As of March 26, the Red Cross discontinued the dedicated collection of COVID-19 convalescent plasma due to declining demand from hospitals and a sufficient industry supply.
THE FACTS: The supposed cover is fake. The image of the newspaper’s front page was manipulated to show a photo of Fauci under the headline, “Triggered ‘gay cancer’ epidemic in the U.S. THE MAN WHO GAVE US AIDS,” to give the false impression that a 1987 article was about him.
CLAIM: Chelsea Clinton tweeted about Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, asking, “What kind of man pursues a physical relationship with an underling and has relations with her in their office?”
CLAIM: The variants of the coronavirus that have been found in the global population were created by COVID-19 vaccines, because the vaccines caused people to develop antibodies and forced the virus to evolve.
CLAIM: Video shows parents in Toronto being blocked by police as children were given the COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for ice cream, without parental permission.
CLAIM: A photo shows Egypt projected the Palestinian flag on its Giza Pyramids during the latest war between Palestinian militants in Gaza and the Israeli military.
THE FACTS: An unprecedented, partisan audit of the 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county is being used to spread false information about the vote.
THE FACTS: As millions of Americans receive COVID-19 vaccines, posts online are falsely claiming that an ingredient listed in the Moderna vaccine is unsafe for humans and animals.
CLAIM: A video shows a woman filling a white plastic bag with gas at a Kroger station due to gas shortages in the Southeastern U.S.
Claim: The underside of a Snapple lid shows the company included, “Trump lost and the election was not stolen,” as a “Real Fact” the company prints on its beverage lids.
THE FACTS: The video of a staged funeral is not recent or from Gaza — it circulated widely online in March 2020.
CLAIM: Photos show Americans filling their cars with plastic bags of gasoline and lining up at gas stations with red gas cans in recent days.