What does a fact-checking organization do when the facts aren’t clear? And what happens when reputable scientists disagree about a public health policy?
The ingredients of McDonald’s restaurant food have been the subject of bogus claims in social media posts in recent years. In April, posts falsely claimed the fast-food chain includes xylitol, which is toxic to dogs, in its ice cream. The company told us xylitol is not used in its food, and the sweetener isn’t listed as an ingredient on McDonald’s website.
The Disney Company opposed Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” law, also referred to by critics as “Don’t Say Gay.” Disney’s actions sparked calls from conservatives for a boycott of Disney — and a flurry of unfounded or exaggerated claims on social media that the company was suffering declines in subscribers, visitors and stock value.
Those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are more prone to serious illness and are dying at higher rates than those who are vaccinated. But partisan social media accounts, including a post by a member of former President Donald Trump’s campaign legal team, continue to misleadingly suggest the vaccines are unnecessary and discourage their use.
When it comes to political images, seeing shouldn’t always be believing. Case in point is an image recently tweeted by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp that is misleadingly presented to make his polling advantage over Republican rival David Perdue appear larger than it actually is in a hypothetical general election matchup with Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams.
The Georgia secretary of state’s office is investigating a conservative watchdog group’s claims of illegal “ballot harvesting” in the state during the November 2020 general election and a special election runoff in January 2021. But the pending investigation is not evidence that “widespread illegal ballot harvesting” elected Georgia’s two Democratic U.S. senators, as a conservative super PAC’s TV ad claims.