This has been an extremely busy week, even before all the fake news.
- Last week President Trump tweeted the disproven claim that mail-in voting is rife with fraud. (In his own words, “Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”) This is blatantly false, and Twitter responded by adding a label encouraging readers to click a link to a fact-checking page. Trump responded to that by threatening to shut down Twitter and other social media, then issuing an executive order urging officials to remove some of social media’s free speech protections. This is the first time Twitter has fact-checked the president’s many misleading tweets, and he really didn’t like it. Later in the week, Twitter “hid” another one of his tweets because it glorified violence, which is against the Twitter rules. If it were you and me spreading these lies and incendiary comments, Twitter would have kicked us off years ago. Why should Donald J. Trump be treated any different? CNN fact checks the president’s claims.
- Viral posts floating around the social media are claiming that George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police was staged. It wasn’t. FactCheck.org does the usual debunking.
- Who is spreading COVID-19 misinformation? It’s coming from conspiracy theorists, scammers, politicians, political operatives, foreign powers, celebrities, and your friends and family members. As to why, read the story from ABC News.
- Fake news pusher and anti-vax proponent Natural News has been using troll farms in Macedonia and the Philippines to push coronavirus disinformation on Facebook. They’ve since been banned from the social network, NBC News reports.
- The U.S. State Department is apparently funding an Armenian website that is spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, including warning visitors that they should refuse any future COVID-19 vaccines. The Guardian has the story.