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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

COVID-19 Is Caused by a Virus, Not Snake Venom

COVID-19 Is Caused by a Virus, Not Snake Venom

The COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a novel coronavirus, first isolated in January 2020. But a viral video has been spreading a conspiracy theory that the pandemic has actually been a plot to poison people with snake venom.

Zelensky and Soros Aren’t Cousins, Contrary to Social Media Claim

Zelensky and Soros Aren’t Cousins, Contrary to Social Media Claim

Conspiracy theories aimed at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have been circulating on social media since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. One recent example, falsely attributed to a “Pentagon official,” is the unfounded claim that Zelensky is the cousin of billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

Zelensky Remains in Ukraine, Despite False Claims on Social Media

Zelensky Remains in Ukraine, Despite False Claims on Social Media

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appeared in several recent videos that show he has remained in the country since Russia invaded on Feb. 24. But a post circulating on Facebook falsely claims he fled and recorded a video using a green screen to make it appear as though he’s still in Ukraine. There’s no evidence to support the claim. A digital forensics expert told us that nothing in the video indicates it was filmed using a green screen.

FactChecking Claims About the Conflict in Ukraine

FactChecking Claims About the Conflict in Ukraine

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, following months of military buildup and, as we’ve written, repeated denials by Russian officials that their country planned to invade. As is often the case with major news events, we have seen several false and misleading claims made on social media and by politicians related to the conflict.

Examining U.S. ‘Energy Independence’ Claims

Examining U.S. ‘Energy Independence’ Claims

When politicians say that the United States was “energy independent” under former President Donald Trump, some people may get the false impression that the U.S. was 100% self-sufficient. The country still relied on foreign sources of energy, including oil.

Social Media Posts Repeat Inaccurate Reporting on Ivermectin and Omicron

Social Media Posts Repeat Inaccurate Reporting on Ivermectin and Omicron

A Japanese company found that the antiparasitic drug ivermectin showed an “antiviral effect” against the omicron variant in a lab setting. Reuters has corrected a story in which it “misstated” that the drug was effective in a phase 3 clinical trial with human subjects. Some social media users have repeated Reuters’ reporting error but have not repeated the correction.