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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Baseless Online Claims Target Biden Ahead of First Debate

Baseless Online Claims Target Biden Ahead of First Debate

Unsubstantiated posts spreading on Facebook and Twitter claim former Vice President Joe Biden “got tonight’s debate questions in advance” and that he will be wearing an earpiece. There is no evidence for either assertion.

Brad Parscale’s Suicide Threat Sparks Conspiracy Claims

Brad Parscale’s Suicide Threat Sparks Conspiracy Claims

Social media accounts that boost conspiracy theories make a baseless claim that the Clintons were involved in a recent incident at the home of Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. The police report describes a domestic dispute during which Parscale threatened suicide.

Biden Was Looking at a TV Screen, Not a Teleprompter

Biden Was Looking at a TV Screen, Not a Teleprompter

A clip from a television interview with former Vice President Joe Biden is circulating online with the false claim that he is reading from a teleprompter. Actually, Biden was looking at a screen showing a viewer’s question before he looks at the interviewer in the room with him.

Contrary to Viral Claim, Trump OK’d Aid for California Fires

Contrary to Viral Claim, Trump OK’d Aid for California Fires

Facebook posts claim that President Donald Trump has withheld aid from California to fight wildfires, while offering help to Russia. That’s a rehash of a controversy in 2019, when Trump threatened to withhold aid from California, while offering help to Russia. The Trump administration has provided federal assistance to California for the recent wildfires.

Ginsburg Was Confirmed Years Before the 1996 Election

Ginsburg Was Confirmed Years Before the 1996 Election

Facebook posts falsely claim that the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was “nominated and confirmed 43 days before an election.” She was nominated and confirmed more than three years before the next presidential election.

Posts Mislead on Biden’s Role in Social Security Taxes

Posts Mislead on Biden’s Role in Social Security Taxes

Posts on Facebook and Twitter suggest that former Vice President Joe Biden is responsible for taxes on Social Security, but those posts ignore the political history and mislead on the details. The posts also twist Biden’s proposals on retirement contributions.

Politicians Have Died of COVID-19

Politicians Have Died of COVID-19

A meme circulating on Facebook falsely claims, “Not one politician has died from the virus.” Actually, at least five current or former politicians across the country have died due to COVID-19.

California Bill Doesn’t Make Pedophilia ‘Legal’

California Bill Doesn’t Make Pedophilia ‘Legal’

Contrary to QAnon-fueled claims that a California bill would legalize pedophilia, the bill would actually standardize the rules about who is required to be on the state’s sex offender registry.