Fake News for the Week Ending March 22, 2019

What’s up in fake news this week? Here’s the fake cream of the fake crop:

  • Given how Russia has weaponized the use of fake news to influence elections around the world (including the 2016 U.S. presidential election), it’s only slightly ironic that Vladimir Putin’s government has passed legislation that criminalizes what it calls “fake news.” Of course, in this instance Putin is referring to fake news the same way Donald Trump does — news stories that “disrespect” state officials and the government. It’s a way to strangle Putin’s critics and opponents, and a dangerous development in the war against press freedoms, as detailed by NPR.
  • Did you know that, way back in 1971 (when he was just 13 years old!), future rock star Prince invested in Nike and later designed the iconic Air Jordan shoes? Well, of course he didn’t, but that’s the meme making the rounds. Bring Me the News brings you the real news about this one.

Prince meme

  • No, Senator Kamala Harris did not sponsor legislation that would require permission from a supervisor before a police officer is allowed to use a weapon. It’s actually a deliberately fake story from Blue News Network, a satirical website, that was taken seriously among conservatives and Harris haters and went viral on Facebook. There’s nothing to see here, folks, as reported by FackCheck.org.
  • Speaking of politicians, did a New York politician named Jenna Tull say “Americans should be euthanized when they hit 70. They just become too dumb”? Well, no, mainly because there’s no New York politician named Jenna Tull. She doesn’t exist. So it’s unlikely that a nonexistent person said anything, let alone this provocative quote that was made into a meme that went viral on (guess where!) Facebook. Snopes debunks this one.

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