VERIFY: The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office posted a controversial “homeless quilt” photo to Facebook

After controversy erupted over a Facebook post made by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, the BBC claimed the agency had previously been in “hot water” over a past social media post about a “homeless quilt.” However, the homeless quilt incident involved the City of Mobile Police Department, a legally separate agency whose only relation to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office is the word “Mobile” in its name.

Continue reading…

VERIFY: Donald Trump falsely claimed immunity from COVID-19

The Hill wrote that Donald Trump “falsely claimed” immunity from COVID-19 following his October infection. Unlike most reporting, which factually noted that Trump could not know whether or not he was immune, The Hill made the absolute claim that he was not. In making what was essentially a medical diagnosis of a specific individual, The Hill provided no evidence. While 26 instances of COVID-19 reinfection have been recorded, the CDC considers these cases “rare” and the emerging scientific consensus — supported by at least three reputable studies — indicates that immunity is likely for most people for a period of a few months following recovery. Continue reading…

VERIFY: A Russian source pushed the narrative of U.S. civil conflict

The East Stratcom Task Force’s EUvsDisinfo newsletter claimed a 4 November segment on Russian external service RT helped push a narrative that American “political polarisation was driving the country towards a violent civil conflict.” However, a search of the captioning file for the segment failed to find any mention of the phrase “civil conflict” or natural variations of it. Continue reading…

VERIFY: Marco Rubio criticized Joe Biden’s cabinet picks for attending Ivy League schools

Newsweek and The Daily Dot each falsely claimed that Marco Rubio tweeted a criticism of the Ivy League education of Joe Biden’s cabinet designees. Rubio’s tweet actually criticized the China policies of those designees. It was an example of the rhetorical device paraprosdokian which often takes the form of a series of laudatory statements concluding with a surprise and unexpected ending, a fact apparently lost on journalists Matthew Impelli and Andrew Wyrich.

Continue reading…

VERIFY: A poll showed that American military personnel disapproved of Donald Trump

Business Insider falsely claimed that “recent polling showed US troops had a high disapproval rating for Trump.” The poll in question, conducted by Military Times, only showed that Military Times readers had a high disapproval rating for Trump, not U.S. military personnel generally. The pollster Business Insider cited even acknowledged its survey ahd a sampling bias that favored career personnel, and may not have accurately represented the views of non-career personnel, who comprise the majority of the armed forces. Continue reading…

VERIFY: The OSCE reported that residents of the District of Columbia are ineligible to vote for President

A European Union “anti-disinformation” newsletter falsely claimed the post-election report produced by the OSCE into the U.S. general election said that residents of the District of Columbia are ineligible to vote for President of the United States. The OSCE report made no such claim, and it is not true in any case. Resident citizens of the District of Columbia have been entitled for vote for presidential electors since the 1964 election.

Continue reading…

VERIFY: An NGO reported that Donald Trump “bombed Yemen more than all previous US presidents combined”

Business Insider falsely claimed a report by an NGO asserted that “Trump may have bombed Yemen more than all previous US presidents combined.” While the claim, though falsely cited, is technically correct it lacks the important context that only two other presidents in American history have ordered any airstrikes in Yemen at all.

Continue reading…

VERIFY: Tear gas is prohibited in war

A USA Today fact-check on the legality of tear gas for crowd control fails to provide adequate context to explain why the chemical agent is prohibited in war. It falsely reinforces a social media narrative that implies the prohibition on tear gas’ use in war is ipso facto proof of its supposed inhumane characteristics.

Continue reading…