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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Fake Article Falsely Links Dr. Sanjay Gupta to CBD Products

Fake Article Falsely Links Dr. Sanjay Gupta to CBD Products

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has reported extensively on the growing popularity of cannabis-based products. But a social media post, which links to a webpage masquerading as a CNN article, falsely claims Gupta is selling cannabidiol gummies. A CNN spokesperson said the content on the page is “completely false” and not from CNN.

Social Media Posts Continue to Misidentify Justice Sotomayor in Dinner Photo

Social Media Posts Continue to Misidentify Justice Sotomayor in Dinner Photo

Politico misidentified Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a photo of a Jan. 7 dinner of Democrats – the same day she participated remotely in oral arguments. Politico corrected the error on Jan. 8. But social media posts continued to wrongly claim Sotomayor attended the dinner and appears in the photo. The woman pictured is Sen. Chuck Schumer’s wife.

Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory Centers on Baseless Claim About Ray Epps

Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory Centers on Baseless Claim About Ray Epps

James Ray Epps was at the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. But there is no evidence that he was an FBI plant assigned to instigate the riot, as a conspiracy theory — embraced by at least two members of Congress — claims. There is evidence, however, that Epps once held a leadership role in the Oath Keepers, some of whose members have been charged in the attack.

Death of Betty White Leads to Swirl of Falsehoods on Social Media

Death of Betty White Leads to Swirl of Falsehoods on Social Media

TV actress Betty White passed away at age 99 on Dec. 31. Following her passing, various falsehoods appeared on social media about White, including claims that she died after getting a COVID-19 booster shot and that she was the sister of former first lady Barbara Bush. White died of natural causes, according to her agent, and she had no siblings.

Facebook Post Recycles Misleading Assessment of Vulnerable and Endangered Species

Facebook Post Recycles Misleading Assessment of Vulnerable and Endangered Species

Climate change and other human-caused factors continue to put many species at risk, according to conservation groups. But a social media post misleadingly claims polar bears, whales and koala populations are “recovered” or increasing. All three species remain critically endangered or vulnerable, the International Union for Conservation of Nature says.

U.S. Oil Reserve Created for Supply Disruptions, Not Strictly Military Use

U.S. Oil Reserve Created for Supply Disruptions, Not Strictly Military Use

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was set up as an emergency source of oil to keep supplies flowing in the event of unexpected disruptions. It’s not just designed “for when we get attacked and need the fuel to keep our Air Force in the air,” as social media posts falsely claim.

Viral Post Misrepresents Facts in Rittenhouse Trial

Viral Post Misrepresents Facts in Rittenhouse Trial

Kyle Rittenhouse said that he went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to defend a car dealership during protests against police brutality in August 2020. He was not there to defend his grandparents’ gas station, as a viral social media post falsely claims. He was not related to the family that owns the car dealership.

Media Allowed to Attend Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial, Contrary to Social Media Posts

Media Allowed to Attend Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial, Contrary to Social Media Posts

The federal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, who is charged with assisting accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, opened on Nov. 29 with extensive media coverage. But social media posts falsely claim the judge issued a “gag order” and the media is “barred from courtroom.” The judge’s order allows “substantial public and press access at the Courthouse.”

Posts Misidentify Man Shown in Photo with Ghislaine Maxwell

Posts Misidentify Man Shown in Photo with Ghislaine Maxwell

Ghislaine Maxwell, who is charged with assisting accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, is scheduled to go on trial on Nov. 29. Social media posts are circulating a photo that falsely claims to show Chief Justice John Roberts in an affectionate pose with Maxwell. The photo actually shows Maxwell with a French modeling agent facing sexual assault charges.

Bogus Campaign Signs in Virginia Were Not Posted by McAuliffe or Democrats

Bogus Campaign Signs in Virginia Were Not Posted by McAuliffe or Democrats

The role of parents in deciding school curriculum is a flash point in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Days before the election, bogus signs have appeared on streets and in social media posts reading, “Keep Parents Out of Classrooms,” and imply they were placed by Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. But McAuliffe and the local Democrats said, “these signs are not ours.”