Misinformation peddlers baselessly claim a judge who presided over the defamation case that ended with an $83 million verdict against former President Donald Trump is linked to sex trafficking, noting that the judge dismissed a case related to Jeffrey Epstein. But the Epstein-related case was settled by the parties, and the defamation verdict was rendered by a jury.
The World Health Organization began using the term “Disease X” in a 2018 planning document to refer to a “currently unknown” illness. But since the term was used at the January meeting of the World Economic Forum, conspiracy theorists baselessly claim Disease X is part of a “Globalist Plan to … Install World Government.”
Nine men were charged with criminal mischief or attempted criminal mischief and other offenses after New York officials ordered an unauthorized tunnel built adjacent to a Brooklyn synagogue be stabilized. Viral posts made baseless claims that the tunnel was related to child sex trafficking. But the tunnel apparently resulted from a dispute between two sects over synagogue expansion.
Officials serving in President Joe Biden’s administration have taken their oaths of office, and most can be seen in videos from their swearing-in ceremonies. But a video circulating on social media falsely suggests that they haven’t been sworn in and are “acting as elected officials without swearing an allegiance to the Constitution.”
On Jan. 6, 2021, about 140 police officers were assaulted during the Capitol riot, and 326 participants — more than 100 armed with weapons — have been charged. But Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson has used recently released video from that day to misleadingly minimize the violence at the riot and to distort the actions of the police.
The derailment of a freight train carrying toxic chemicals in eastern Ohio has sparked a slew of unfounded claims by conservative commentators. There’s no indication that this incident will rise to the level of a “domestic Chernobyl”; it has been covered steadily by the media; federal and state agencies are monitoring air and water quality and its impact on people and animals.
What appear to be ordinary postmortem blood clots are held up in a viral online video as supposed evidence that there’s a depopulation plot underway using COVID-19 vaccination to kill people. There’s no evidence for this theory. The hourlong video also repeats numerous falsehoods that have previously been debunked.
The bankruptcy of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has sparked an unfounded claim that its former CEO had conspired with Ukraine and Democratic politicians to launder U.S. aid money. FTX helped make crypto donations available to Ukraine; it wasn’t taking any assets from Ukraine.
Internet trolls have used the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and a fake tweet purportedly from Abe, to promote a long-standing, unfounded conspiracy theory that the Clintons are responsible for the deaths of multiple people. A suspect reportedly with a personal grudge has been arrested for the assassination.