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Search resuls for: "Reuters Fact Check"

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Social media users have been sharing a fabricated image that appears to show a Twitter message from billionaire Elon Musk saying that he will buy Snapchat. An advanced search of Musk’s Twitter feed showed no evidence that he had posted any such remark (here)). A Google news search also showed no reports of Musk saying he would buy Snapchat (here). A screenshot of a tweet by Elon Musk saying he will buy Snapchat “next” is fabricated. Musk did not tweet that he would buy Snapchat.
Billionaire Elon Musk has not tweeted that he will double the Twitter verification fee for journalists who list nonbinary pronouns in their online bio, as claimed by some social media users. Instagram users shared a screenshot of a tweet that reads, “BREAKING: @elonmusk says journalists with ‘they/them’ pronouns in bio will pay a $16 monthly fee instead of the standard $8 verification because ‘they’ identify as multiple people.” (here) , (here) , (here). Musk has previously drawn criticism for mocking people who list their preferred pronouns in their online bios (here). After receiving backlash for the tweet, Musk tweeted in Dec. 2020, “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare” (here). Although Musk has been openly critical of people using nonbinary pronouns, there is no evidence that he said he would charge journalists using ‘they/them’ pronouns a higher fee for Twitter verification.
Statistics that show the majority of deaths from COVID-19 are among vaccinated people reflect the fact most people are vaccinated, not that the vaccines are ineffective, as implied in a social media post. Similar statistics show COVID vaccines continue to reduce the risk of dying and severe illness, an expert told Reuters. The data cited in the article show the majority of COVID-19 deaths are among vaccinated people, particularly the elderly, a group that is nearly 94% vaccinated in the United States. CDC Data cited in the same article shows that vaccination continues to reduce risk of death across all age groups. Reuters has previously factchecked similar misleading claims that a large proportion of COVID-19 deaths among vaccinated people reflects poor vaccine effectiveness (here) (here) and (here).
A photograph shared by social media users does not show former Balenciaga stylist Lotta Volkova holding two dolls covered in what appears to be fake blood, but an unnamed model during China Fashion Week 2016. Posts on social media making this claim can be seen (here) and (here). The photograph shared online does not show Volkova, but an unnamed model showcasing designs by Sheguang Hu during the Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week 2016. The images do not show Lotta Volkova, but a model showcasing designs by Sheguang Hu during the Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week 2016. This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team.
Social media users are sharing images of Christmas decorations in Lielvārde, Latvia, and claiming they show Nazi-style swastikas. However, the symbol is not inspired by the swastika used in Nazi Germany. Rather, it is called an ugunskrusts – meaning ‘fire cross’ – in Latvia and is rooted in the country’s history and folklore. Latvian news reports about the decorations do not mention the symbol being inspired by Nazism (here, here and here ). Although the symbol on the Christmas decorations looks like a Nazi swastika, it is an ugunskrusts, which originates in Latvian folklore and history.
The photos were in fact taken during an emergency training exercise in 2016 before the current conflict. However, the photos are not evidence of Ukraine using actors or faking injuries in the war. At least three of the image’s four photos appear to have been captured during combat casualty care training, a type of course for medics treating trauma injuries. The photo was shared along with a hashtag identifying the exercise as “tccc training” – tactical combat casualty care training. The photos are not proof of Ukraine using actors or faking injuries in the Russia-Ukraine war.
The Artemis I Orion capsule entered low-Earth orbit prior to making a maneuver toward the Moon. Users pointed to the curved trajectory, seemingly moving away from the Moon, as proof that the capsule went off course. Per ESA, a low Earth orbit was done to allow mission control to perform final checks before departing toward the Moon (here). A photo showing the Artemis I Orion capsule flying past the moon in its trajectory is not proof the earth is flat, as online posts say. The spacecraft performed a low Earth orbit before completing a translunar injection toward the Moon.
They are not minority white, however, but have less than 50% identifying as “white British”. In a video, Farage says: “The Office for National Statistics figures are out today, showing that London, Birmingham and Manchester are all now minority white cities. The ONS told Reuters that these claims confuse “white British” and “white other”. The cities that have a white minority are Birmingham and Leicester, the ONS told Reuters. London and Manchester are not now minority white cities, according to the 2021 census.
Social media users have shared a video that they claim shows a meteor falling into the Baltic Sea near Germany. Contrary to this claim, the video does not show an actual meteor strike; it was created by a visual effects artist. Reuters found that a visual effects artist, Elias Willnat, originally shared the clip on Instagram (here) as well as on YouTube in August 2022 ( Willnat also clearly mentions on YouTube that the video was created using design software After Effects and Davinci Resolve. A visual effects artist created the video.
An image of a customs agent discovering a shipment of beer cans disguised as Pepsi has been falsely linked to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Nearly 2,000 people have reacted to a Nov. 24 Facebook post which suggests the image shows Heineken cans that were smuggled into the tournament’s host country by football fans (here). But the image can be traced back to 2015 in Saudi Arabia (see Alcohol is banned in Saudi Arabia (here). The photo is from Saudi Arabia in 2015, not the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
Data showing low Democratic turnout on Election Day does not account for early mail-in and ballot drop-off votes. One of the Uplift charts, titled “Maricopa County E-Day Check Ins,” shows 16.6% Democrat, 30.7% Other, and 52.7% Republican check ins at Election Day in Maricopa County. These included 250,000 (16%) in-person votes on Election Day, 290,000 (19%) early ballot drop-offs on Election Day and 1.02 million (65%) early ballots before Election Day. “The short answer to why this is incorrect is the data is from primary election day 8/2/2022,” Almy said. “Voters in the primary have no relevance to the general election.”Megan Gilbertson, communications director for Maricopa County, said “Maricopa County has not asserted either of the claims stated that article.”VERDICTMissing context.
Social media users have circulated a fabricated image that looks like the cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which appears to show a cartoon of Ukrainian soccer fans defacing a World Cup poster with Nazi symbols. A screenshot of the image shows what appears to be a Charlie Hebdo magazine cover with a cartoon of two soccer fans wearing Ukraine soccer team t-shirts defacing a World Cup poster with a Nazi slogan. The fabricated Charlie Hebdo cover circulated online after a fake Al Jazeera clip was shared on social media, which claimed that three drunken Ukrainian fans were arrested in Doha for defacing posters with Nazi symbols (here). The magazine did release a special edition to mark the World Cup, with a cover that shows skeletons playing football (here). Charlie Hebdo did not publish a cartoon depicting Ukrainian soccer fans defacing a World Cup poster.
Social media users have shared images and videos from a Disney+ Christmas miniseries with context missing. The tweet accompanying the cropped clip reads: “From the new @Disney Christmas mini series The Clauses. The full version of the scene shows that the children’s formation was intended as a joke. Tim Allen’s character, Santa Claus, is seen asking the children to check their spelling before rearranging the message to read: “We love you Santa.”VERDICTMissing context. The ‘Satan’ message was a joke; the complete scene shows children rearranging the letters to spell “Santa” correctly.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits for COVID-19 use what’s known as gene cloning – not reproductive cloning – to detect the presence or absence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but social media posts claim that humans are being cloned using COVID-19 PCR tests. The claim appears to originate from an Aug. 18 segment of the Stew Peters Show titled, “Patent PCR Test Linked To Human Cloning Video Shows Animal Experiments, Cross Species Genetics” (here). The 2015 paper by Hoseini and Sauer explains methods for gene cloning with PCR and used a gene encoding a red fluorescent protein as its example. PCR tests for COVID-19 cannot be used for human cloning. Molecular cloning, or gene cloning, that is described in a 2015 paper about using PCR to copy individual genes is an entirely different process.
A fabricated screenshot circulating on social media appears to show a CNN headline telling viewers that Elon Musk could threaten free speech on Twitter by simply allowing free speech. No such headline appears on CNN’s website and CNN has said publicly said the headline never appeared. One social media post dated November 28, 2022 (here) on Instagram reads: “CNN: Elon Musk could threaten free speech on Twitter by literally allowing people to speak freely” alongside images of CNN Anchor Don Lemon and Elon Musk. The CNN official communications team responded to Musk’s tweet, saying, “This headline never appeared on CNN. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
Images circulating online of dressing rooms strewn with rubbish do not show the Japanese national soccer team’s changing room and the images pre-date the Qatar World Cup. However, some online users were duped into thinking that the images showed the Japanese team’s changing room after losing to Costa Rica on Nov 27. FIFA has images showing Japan’s changing room after the team’s opening match against Germany, with no rubbish viewable (here), (here), (here). Images online do not show rubbish in Japan’s World Cup changing room after a match. The images were captured in Italy following the national soccer team’s loss to North Macedonia in March 2022.
A Twitter user shared the fabricated screenshot of the headline: “The Saintly Sam Bankman-Fried Was On a Mission From God to Save Humanity But Was Unfairly Destroyed by His Evil Enemies” with the comment, “Shame on you @WSJ cowards. A Google search reveals no record of the headline circulating on social media having been published by the WSJ ( There is also no evidence that the WSJ has ever previously referred to Bankman-Fried as “saintly.” A search for “saintly Sam Bankman-Fried” on the WSJ website did not return any relevant results (, (here). By 11:53pm EST the same day, the article was updated with the headline “Sam Bankman-Fried Said He Would Give Away Billions. There is no evidence that the WSJ published a headline that referred to Sam Bankman-Fried as “saintly,” but the fabricated image includes a subtitle from an authentic WSJ article published on Nov. 24.
But social media users are sharing a screenshot of a tweet by Voepel and misleadingly linking it to a shooting in Colorado on Nov. 19. Users online are sharing an image that purports to show Voepel tweeting, “Sending my thoughts and prayers” following the Colorado Springs shooting. Reuters reports on the Nov. 19 Colorado Springs shooting at Club Q and the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, can be seen (here) and (here). Representatives for Voepel, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Springs PD, FBI Denver Field Office and the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment. There is no record of Voepel tweeting “Sending my thoughts and prayers” after the shooting in Colorado Springs.
A years-old video of a crowd at a football stadium singing in support of Palestine has been widely shared by social media users as imagery from the 2022 FIFA World Cup being held in Qatar. **Whole Qatar FIFA stadium sung together unitedly in favour of Palestine against Jews and Israel.”Iterations of the claim can also be seen on Facebook. The video clip, however, is not from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and dates to 2019 (here). It shows Moroccan football fans showing solidarity with Palestine at a match between home team Raja Casablanca and Palestinian team Hilal Al-Quds at the Mohamed V stadium in Casablanca (see and The video clip is from 2019.
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman told a parliamentary select committee on Nov. 24 that, on average, Home Office staff process one asylum case each per week. However, some social media users appear to have misinterpreted her comments as meaning only one case per week is processed across the whole of the department. One person wrote: “Imagine a company that had thousands of employees who only prossessed (sic) one application a week. The BBC also reported on the revelation that Home Office staff individually were deciding one case per week on average (here). Suella Braverman revealed to a select committee that Home Office staff were each, on average, processing one asylum case per week.
Qatar’s state-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera did not release a clip reporting that Ukrainian fans had been arrested during the World Cup for “spreading Nazi symbols” in Doha. The video uses Al Jazeera typography with the network’s logo viewable to the top left corner. Text across the clip claims that three drunk Ukrainian fans were arrested in the country’s capital after adding Nazi symbology to posters featuring the Qatar World Cup mascot, La’eeb. Archived versions of the outlet’s coverage of the World Cup similarly do not feature the above clip (here), (here), (here). Ukraine is also not competing in the World Cup in Qatar, after failing to qualify having been defeated by Wales in a playoff in June (here).
Some face masks contain minute quantities of titanium dioxide, a mineral that has been flagged as a possible cancer risk when inhaled, but there is no evidence that mask users inhale it at all, or in harmful quantities. Experts told Reuters that some masks approved in the U.S. may contain small amounts of titanium dioxide. However, the study tested masks distributed in Europe and did not test whether mask users inhaled any particles. Although some face masks approved by the FDA can contain titanium dioxide, the study cited in online claims does not provide evidence that titanium dioxide is released from face masks or that face mask users can inhale titanium dioxide released from masks. Titanium dioxide has only been classified as a carcinogen by the European Chemicals agency under specific conditions.
A series of graphs published by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell on his social media channels and livestreams appearing to show real-time U.S. midterm election updates do not indicate or prove fraud, experts told Reuters. Lindell published four graphs on his Instagram account purporting to show real-time vote counts during the elections. But such ‘spikes’ seen in graphs using unofficial election data do not indicate or provide proof of fraud, with races rarely officially called on election night (here). The four graphs appearing to show real-time midterm election data do not point to fraud or nefarious activity. Visualizing unofficial vote counts in real-time where the incoming data may be non-uniform in distribution can lead to apparent “spikes” in graphs, experts told Reuters.
England footballers have taken the knee at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to “protest against discrimination, injustice and inequality” and say the gesture is not “aligned to a political organisation or ideology”, as some people have claimed online. The tweet in the screenshot reads: “So the England team are going to take the knee before the Iranian team because of a policeman in Minnesota? They are doing this as a mechanism of peacefully protesting against discrimination, injustice, and inequality. There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context.”VERDICTMisleading. England football players take the knee as a peaceful protest against discrimination, injustice and inequality.
Contrary to claims on social media, a short video clip showing a crowd of people praying in a stadium was not recorded in Qatar during the soccer World Cup. The video actually shows the inside of the Kazan Arena in Russia. A Google keyword search of the terms “Kazan”, “stadium” and “prayer” brought iterations of the video that trace back to at least June 4, 2019 (here). Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency previously captured images of another “Republican Iftar” celebrated at the Kazan Arena in 2016 ( It shows a stadium in the Russian city of Kazan, most likely in 2019.
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