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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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.

Memes Misidentify D.C. Police Officer as Jan. 6 Protester

Memes Misidentify D.C. Police Officer as Jan. 6 Protester

Using side-by-side photos of two men who bear some resemblance to each other, social media posts are spreading the false claim that a Washington, D.C., police officer who responded to the Capitol breach on Jan. 6 was really part of the rioting crowd. The photos actually show two different people.

Capitol Police Expected to Testify During House Committee’s Probe of Jan. 6 Riot

Capitol Police Expected to Testify During House Committee’s Probe of Jan. 6 Riot

Members of the Capitol Police will be among the first to testify during the House select committee investigation into the Jan. 6 riot, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, who will lead the panel. But social media posts have made the unfounded claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “won’t let Capitol Police testify about what happened Jan. 6.”

Video Doesn’t Show Buttigieg Staging Bike Ride

Video Doesn’t Show Buttigieg Staging Bike Ride

A video showing Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg departing the White House on a bike was misrepresented by conservative commentators online, with some claiming he “staged” the ride. There’s no evidence for that claim, and the Department of Transportation said he traveled from the department to the White House — a three-mile trip — and back on bike.

Capitol Protesters Were Armed With Variety of Weapons

Capitol Protesters Were Armed With Variety of Weapons

Conservative social media posts misleadingly claim the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was not an “armed” insurrection, citing FBI testimony that no guns were seized from suspects that day. But 23 people have been charged with having deadly or dangerous weapons during the assault — including a loaded handgun found on a man arrested on Capitol grounds.

False Claim of ‘No Flag’ Above White House

False Claim of ‘No Flag’ Above White House

Before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, social media users shared a false claim that there was no flag flying over the White House — suggesting it was a sign that the military had taken control of the government. In fact, the flag was flying above the White House on Jan. 20, and Biden is president.

Bogus Antifa Claims Follow Capitol Riot

Bogus Antifa Claims Follow Capitol Riot

Viral social media posts and a Republican House member have amplified claims wrongly identifying some right-wing figures at the U.S. Capitol riot as part of “antifa.” The claims feed into an unfounded conspiracy theory that anti-fascist activists in disguise orchestrated the event.

D.C. Mayor Did Not Propose Removal of Federal Monuments

D.C. Mayor Did Not Propose Removal of Federal Monuments

A Facebook post falsely claims that Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser “proposed using her power to remove” the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in the wake of protests against racism. Bowser asked an advisory panel to review possible changes to D.C.-owned assets; she did not propose removing any federal monuments.

Statue in Lincoln Memorial Was Not Defaced by Protesters

Statue in Lincoln Memorial Was Not Defaced by Protesters

A meme is spreading a doctored image of the Lincoln Memorial covered in graffiti to falsely claim that protesters defaced the Lincoln statue. The image was taken from a thumbnail for a video on the conservative website the Daily Wire and shared as if real.