Facebook Twitter Tumblr Close Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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.

COVID-19 Far More Lethal Than a Cold, Contrary to Suggestion in Viral Video

COVID-19 Far More Lethal Than a Cold, Contrary to Suggestion in Viral Video

COVID-19 has killed more than 805,000 people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet a viral video on social media suggests the disease is the same as a “common cold.” COVID-19 is in the same family of some cold viruses, but its potential for a severe outcome — including death — is much higher than for the common cold.

Viral Story Takes Fauci COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Comments Out of Context

Viral Story Takes Fauci COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Comments Out of Context

The COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. were found to be safe and effective in clinical trials and real-world conditions. Dr. Anthony Fauci did not admit that “Covid Vaccines May Actually Make People ‘Worse,'” as a viral headline misleadingly claims. Fauci’s March 2020 remarks about testing future vaccines were taken out of context.

Article Makes Unfounded Claims Linking Athletes’ Injuries, Deaths to Vaccines

Article Makes Unfounded Claims Linking Athletes’ Injuries, Deaths to Vaccines

Many U.S. athletes have been vaccinated against COVID-19 without any adverse effects. But a conservative outlet has cited a list of supposedly vaccine-injured athletes to claim “there may be something wrong with the vaccine.” There’s no proof that the listed athletes — most of them are actually retired — were harmed by the vaccines.

Biden’s Wage Claims: Mostly Malarkey

Biden’s Wage Claims: Mostly Malarkey

President Joe Biden has been saying “wages are up” and rising “faster than inflation.” While weekly paychecks have indeed gotten larger since he became president, they have not kept pace with inflation.

Analyzing Republican Attacks on Biden for Increase in Fentanyl Seized

Analyzing Republican Attacks on Biden for Increase in Fentanyl Seized

U.S. border officials reported seizing 10,856 pounds of fentanyl being smuggled across the southwest border in fiscal year 2021, a 132% increase from fiscal year 2020. Some Republicans have misleadingly suggested that the amount of drugs seized is a negative development attributable to the immigration policies of President Joe Biden.

Social Media Posts Misrepresent Old Biden Tweet on Travel Ban

Social Media Posts Misrepresent Old Biden Tweet on Travel Ban

President Joe Biden restricted travel from eight African nations on Nov. 26 to slow the spread of the omicron variant. Conservative commentators have misleadingly cited a Biden tweet from last year to claim he was critical of “the same travel ban” implemented by then-President Donald Trump. But that tweet was about a Trump immigration order directed at predominantly Muslim countries.

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.

Posts Misrepresent Data to Falsely Claim Italy Reduced Its COVID-19 Death Count

Posts Misrepresent Data to Falsely Claim Italy Reduced Its COVID-19 Death Count

The vast majority of people who have died with COVID-19 had other medical conditions that put them at risk of severe disease, or other conditions caused by COVID-19. But internet posts misinterpret data about those conditions to falsely claim that Italy has reduced its count of COVID-19 deaths. It hasn’t.