While campaigning in South Carolina, former President Donald Trump saw a handgun at a gun store with his image and name on it. “I want to buy one,” he said. An online video shows Trump in the store, but the post claims he purchased the gun. The Trump campaign said, “He simply indicated he wanted one.”
A U.S. Department of Agriculture program that promotes the growth of community gardens in areas with little access to fresh food encourages community groups to register with the USDA. But social media posts misleadingly suggest the USDA wants anyone with a garden to register, “so everyone knows where the people who grow their own food are.”
Flu shots and vaccines that protect children against measles, mumps and rubella have been effective in preventing illness, serious disease and death. But a meme has been circulating with the false suggestion that those vaccines are ineffective. Actually, they’ve saved millions of lives and have eliminated both measles and rubella in the U.S.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, is an advocate for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in countries around the globe. But a social media post misleadingly claims, “Tedros says he isnt vaccinated.” Tedros shared a tweet on May 12, 2021 showing himself receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
To avoid damage from heavy rains, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have opened floodgates along Arizona’s border fencing during monsoon season since 2009. But social media users, including Sen. Ted Cruz, shared posts with the misleading claim that the Biden administration opened the gates “by design” to allow illegal immigration.
After a fatal shooting at the University of North Carolina, Fox News displayed a photo of the suspect with this caption: “UNC Police Release Picture of Person of Interest.” But an altered screenshot of the news report circulating online shows this caption under the photo: “Shooter Described as ‘Mostly White Asian Male.'” A Fox News spokesperson called that caption a “fake.”
Democrats tend to win in densely populated counties, while Republicans win more sparse, rural counties. In 2020, the counties won by President Joe Biden had 67 million more residents than counties won by former President Donald Trump. Yet a social media post falsely asserts that because Biden won with fewer counties than Trump, “something isn’t adding up.”