A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Officials Didn’t Say Epstein Associate Has COVID-19

Officials Didn’t Say Epstein Associate Has COVID-19

Social media posts falsely assert that Ghislaine Maxwell — the recently arrested associate of Jeffrey Epstein — has tested positive for COVID-19 in jail. The story is the product of a website that says its work is satire.

Video Presents Flawed Test on Masks, Oxygen Levels

Video Presents Flawed Test on Masks, Oxygen Levels

A viral video questions the safety of face masks by using a gas detector to purportedly show that masks result in dangerous oxygen levels for the wearer. But experts — and the company that makes the gas detector — say the video’s test is scientifically flawed.

Painting of Children in Masks Isn’t a 1994 Airport Mural

Painting of Children in Masks Isn’t a 1994 Airport Mural

Viral posts wrongly claim that a painting depicting children in face masks was created as a mural for the Denver airport in 1994 — and baselessly suggest the COVID-19 pandemic was planned. The painting is not at the airport, and is not from 1994.

Gifting a Folded Flag Isn’t ‘Only For Fallen Veterans’

Gifting a Folded Flag Isn’t ‘Only For Fallen Veterans’

Headlines on social media misleadingly suggest that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi violated a military tradition when she gave a folded flag to the brother of George Floyd. A folded flag is not “Reserved Only For Fallen Veterans,” as one headline claims. Members of Congress routinely present flags that have flown over the U.S. Capitol as gifts.

Facebook Post Repeats Flawed Claim on Wuhan Lab Funding

Facebook Post Repeats Flawed Claim on Wuhan Lab Funding

A Facebook post is spreading the false claim that former President Barack Obama gave $3.8 million to a lab in Wuhan, China. The money referenced was actually provided to a U.S. research group. Only $600,000 went to the lab as part of a U.S.-approved collaboration. 

Conspiracy Theory on Floyd’s Death Disproved by Footage

Conspiracy Theory on Floyd’s Death Disproved by Footage

A conspiracy theory on Facebook is falsely claiming that the killing of George Floyd was “filmed before covid19” because “[n]ot a single person is wearing a mask” in the videos. Some of the officers and officials in the videos can clearly be seen wearing masks.

Donations to Black Lives Matter Group Don’t Go to DNC

Donations to Black Lives Matter Group Don’t Go to DNC

Social media posts falsely claim donations made on the Black Lives Matter website go “directly” to the Democratic Party, because the group uses ActBlue Charities — an online fundraising platform. Donations go to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. The funds first pass through a nonprofit that sponsors the group.

Statue in Lincoln Memorial Was Not Defaced by Protesters

Statue in Lincoln Memorial Was Not Defaced by Protesters

A meme is spreading a doctored image of the Lincoln Memorial covered in graffiti to falsely claim that protesters defaced the Lincoln statue. The image was taken from a thumbnail for a video on the conservative website the Daily Wire and shared as if real.

Posts Distort Facts on Floyd Pathologist’s Role in Past Cases

Posts Distort Facts on Floyd Pathologist’s Role in Past Cases

Instagram posts erroneously claim the “SAME DOCTOR” performed the autopsies on “JFK, MLK, Epstein, AND George Floyd.” The doctor referenced, pathologist Michael Baden, has connections to those four cases — but he only performed an autopsy on Floyd, as a secondary examination for Floyd’s family.

LEGO Temporarily Halts Marketing, Not Sales, of Police Toy Sets

LEGO Temporarily Halts Marketing, Not Sales, of Police Toy Sets

LEGO isn’t discontinuing the sale of its law enforcement-themed toys, despite an erroneous social media claim. The confusion arose after the company temporarily suspended some marketing efforts — not sales — amid the U.S. protests following the death of George Floyd.