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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

U.S. Is Sending Aid to Independent Groups in Afghanistan, Not the Taliban

U.S. Is Sending Aid to Independent Groups in Afghanistan, Not the Taliban

The U.S. is providing humanitarian aid through several independent organizations in Afghanistan, but not through the Taliban government. Yet an online article falsely claims that the Biden administration will “send the Taliban millions in US dollars,” and repeats a debunked claim about the cost of U.S. military weapons left after the U.S. withdrawal.

Posts Spread Baseless Claims About Cause of Cargo Ship Backups

Posts Spread Baseless Claims About Cause of Cargo Ship Backups

U.S. ports slowed by pandemic-induced labor and equipment shortages cannot keep up with Americans’ demand for imported goods, resulting in cargo ship backups on both coasts. But social media posts, without citing evidence, falsely claim the Biden administration is purposely “orchestrating” product shortages.

Facebook Posts Distort Robert E. Lee’s Actions and Views on Slavery

Facebook Posts Distort Robert E. Lee’s Actions and Views on Slavery

A statue commemorating Gen. Robert E. Lee was taken down in Richmond, Virginia, on Sept. 8. Days after the statue was removed, Facebook posts about Lee misleadingly claimed he freed his slaves, and a quote from Lee referring to slavery as a “moral evil” is taken out of context, misrepresenting his attitude toward slavery.

Meme Misattributes Quote on Afghanistan to Trump

Meme Misattributes Quote on Afghanistan to Trump

A viral meme falsely claims that former President Donald Trump suggested that the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was an orchestrated distraction by Democrats. A spokesperson for Trump has denied he made that remark. A very similar statement, not attributed to the former president, previously went viral on Facebook.

Social Media Posts Draw Unsupported Conclusion on Afghan Helicopter Video

Social Media Posts Draw Unsupported Conclusion on Afghan Helicopter Video

Afghan journalists report that a video of a person suspended from a helicopter shows an operation in which the person was trying to change a flag. But critics of President Joe Biden have used the footage to claim the Taliban used U.S. equipment for a “hanging.” One person who shared the claim, Sen. Ted Cruz, later deleted his tweet, saying it “may be inaccurate.”

Biden Issued Proclamation to Fly Flags at Half-Staff

Biden Issued Proclamation to Fly Flags at Half-Staff

President Joe Biden issued a proclamation honoring those who died in the attack at the Kabul airport Aug. 26 and calling for flags to be flown at half-staff. But a meme has been circulating on Facebook with the false claim that no such order had been issued.

Exposing the Holes in a California Recall Election Conspiracy Theory

Exposing the Holes in a California Recall Election Conspiracy Theory

Videos on social media suggest that holes in the return envelopes being used for mail-in ballots in California were designed to allow election officials to peek inside and toss out ballots in favor of recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom. Officials say the holes serve two useful purposes, including helping the vision impaired to sign the ballot envelope in private. 

Instagram Post Wrong on U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan

Instagram Post Wrong on U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan

Eleven American military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020, including four in combat. But, as the U.S. nears its Aug. 31 deadline for a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, a social media post falsely claims that there weren’t any American casualties in Afghanistan in the last year-and-a-half of the Trump administration. 

Malala Yousafzai Has Responded to Taliban Takeover, Plight of ‘My Afghan Sisters’

Malala Yousafzai Has Responded to Taliban Takeover, Plight of ‘My Afghan Sisters’

Malala Yousafzai has expressed deep concerns for women and children in Afghanistan since the Taliban entered the country’s capital on Aug. 15. Yet a post on social media falsely accused Yousafzai, a children’s rights advocate, of being “silent” about the Taliban takeover and the impact on Afghan girls and women.