A bogus social media story uses a doctored image of an indictment to falsely claim George Soros has been arrested in the U.S. “for election interference.” The actual charges are against six Russian nationals for cyberattacks.
A website with a track record of spreading misinformation is the source of a bogus story claiming that George Soros, the wealthy financier of progressive causes, has been “arrested” in Philadelphia for “election interference.”
There has been no such arrest.
“George Soros Arrested in Philadelphia For Election Interference – Judge Orders Media Blackout,” reads the headline on Your News Wire.
But the Nov. 23 story — which logged nearly 5,000 shares on Facebook in its first day, according to CrowdTangle analytics data — uses a doctored image of a federal indictment to support its bogus claim.
“George Soros has been arrested and is currently being held in federal custody in Philadelphia,” the story falsely claims. “According to a recently unsealed indictment filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Soros has been charged with a number of serious crimes relating to the US election.”
The U.S. Department of Justice announced that indictment on Oct. 19, alleging that Russian intelligence officers sought, among other things, to undermine elections in France and undercut efforts “to hold Russia accountable for its use of a weapons-grade nerve agent.”
On Your News Wire, the image of the indictment was edited to remove the names of the Russian nationals and instead show Soros being charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges. (Readers can move the slider at the end of the story to compare the bogus image to the real indictment.)
The false story further claims that the “FBI stated that the indictment will likely be updated to reflect election interference charges in relation to Dominion Voting, once the full scale of Soros’ operations has been exposed. Soros is currently being interrogated by the FBI.” (Dominion Voting Systems has been the subject of conspiracy theories following the Nov. 3 election.)
This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here for more.
Rieder, Rem. “Trump Tweets Conspiracy Theory About Deleted Votes.” FactCheck.org. 13 Nov 2020.
“Russian Vehicle Registration Leak Reveals Additional GRU Hackers.” Bellingcat. 22 Oct 2020.
“Six Russian GRU Officers Charged in Connection with Worldwide Deployment of Destructive Malware and Other Disruptive Actions in Cyberspace.” Press release, U.S. Department of Justice. 19 Oct 2020.
United States of America v. Yuri Sergeyevich Andrienko, et. al. Indictment. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. 15 Oct 2020.