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Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, claims about the size of the crowds he draws have come under scrutiny — even from some of his supporters.
Facebook users were skeptical after an account posted a photo showing a city street packed with people.
"This was all the Trump supporter’s (sic) outside the Arena last night in Orlando last night in the streets," reads the June 19 post. "Tell me Trump is losing! I don’t think so!"
The post, which had been shared more than 2,200 times within a week, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
"I love this and want to share with family, but need to be sure it’s accurate to time, place and not doctored in order for those I’m sharing with to believe it," one user wrote. "Any more you can share about picture to give it additional cred? Thx!!"
The poster replied: "Sorry all I can tell the the picture was shot in Orlando Florida the night kicked off his reelection campaign. The Arena only seats 20,000. They had 120,000 request’s (sic) for tickets! These are Trump supporter’s (sic) who couldn’t get in!"
Reader, they aren’t. We salute the suspicious commenter who questioned the photo’s authenticity.
The image is actually a still of drone footage taken in Toronto after the Raptors won the NBA championship on June 14. Photographer Toby Guu captured the scene, which you can watch here. (Pause around second 23 to see the still used in the Facebook post.)
Trump himself said on June 26 that there were "literally tens of thousands of people" who couldn’t get into his reelection campaign launch rally at the Amway Center in Orlando. However, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the arena, which has a capacity of about 20,000, was "nearly filled to capacity."
"Whether it was the weather — hot earlier in the day, rainy in the afternoon — or people just wanting invitations to the historic event for keepsakes, it did appear there were fewer people than were planned," the newspaper wrote on June 18. "The planned overflow area across from the arena was virtually empty as the rally began inside the arena."
We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, June 19, 2019
The Washington Post, "President Trump’s crowd-size estimates: Increasingly unbelievable," Nov. 19, 2018
Toby Guu Instagram post, June 14, 2019
YouTube, "NBA Finals: Drone footage shows just how big Toronto’s post-game celebration was," June 14, 2019
The Hill, "Trump says ‘tens of thousands’ couldn’t get into Orlando rally, contradicting local reports," June 26, 2019
Orlando Sentinel, "Lines disappeared and arena seats remained before Trump took stage," June 18, 2019
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