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Joshua Gillin
By Joshua Gillin April 19, 2017

Fake story wrong about Malia Obama being expelled from Harvard for marijuana use

A story that appeared on scads of blogs claiming former President Barack Obama’s eldest daughter Malia was kicked out of Harvard University is fake news.

"Breaking: Malia Obama expelled from Harvard," read the headline on an April 10, 2017, post on, a known fake news website. The same post appears almost word for word on plenty of other websites, too.

Facebook users flagged the story as possibly being bogus, as part of the social media site’s efforts to curtail fake news in users’ news feeds.

The post said Harvard chancellor Malcolm Little said Malia, 18, "was caught in a Boston hotel lounge vaping marijuana with friends." The school’s strict drug policy meant she was out, the article read, and the Obama family was considering filing a discrimination suit.

Again, this story is fake, because there haven’t been any reports that Malia Obama was kicked out. But the post does acknowledge something that would make expulsion difficult — she isn’t going to school there yet.

The White House announced in 2016 after she was accepted that Malia Obama would take a gap year before enrolling in the fall of 2017. What has she been up to since then? Things a teen with a year off would do, probably, like hang out with boys in Manhattan.

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As for the post’s other details, Harvard does prohibit drugs and alcohol on campus, where current students would face penalties (expelling the former first daughter seems unlikely in any event). Harvard doesn’t have a chancellor, it has a president, and her name is Drew Gilpin Faust.

More importantly, the post originally appeared April 9 on The parody website has been the source of several fake news stories that we’ve previously checked. fabricates posts keyed to topics designed to inflame conservatives. The articles quite often end up being passed around on multiple websites, often without an indication that they are fake. doesn’t immediately indicate that any of its stories are fake, but its About Us link notes that "all articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney."

Point being, Malia wasn’t caught smoking weed in a Boston hotel, and didn’t get booted from a school she isn’t even attending yet. Don’t expect to see her having to settle for Brown anytime soon.

We rate this statement Pants On Fire!

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"Malia Obama expelled from Harvard."
in Internet posts
Monday, April 10, 2017

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Fake story wrong about Malia Obama being expelled from Harvard for marijuana use

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