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In this era of misinformation and disinformation, what’s worse than a false news story that goes viral? How about a false story disguised as a fact-check?
A viral satirical story circulating on Facebook heralds a false headline that says a "fact check" proves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi diverted billions from Social Security to pay for impeachment costs.
The article’s headline, which is the only part of the story that users can see when it is shared on Facebook, reads: "FACT CHECK: Yes, Nancy Pelosi Moved Billions from SSI to Cover Impeachment Costs." It got over 46,000 views in its first 24 hours.
The story 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.)
This is a false headline. Another satirical article that made a similar claim received our Pants on Fire rating when a screenshot of the headline went viral without any accompanying explanation to signal that it was intended to be satire. That one claimed Pelosi diverted $2.4 billion from Social Security to cover impeachment costs.
This latest headline comes from a story published on a site called "Americas News Source" that actually pokes fun at the people who believed that earlier story, as well as those who believe this one, calling people who shared the item "реа-brаіnеd trumрсhumрѕ сlаmоrіng about lоѕіng their ѕосіаl security."
It continues, saying that there is "no way" Pelosi would be able to "pull off ѕuсh a rіdісulоuѕ stunt, even if ѕhе wаntеd to, аnd 2.4 bіllіоn dоllаrѕ was randomly invented tо ѕоund lаrgе." It also reads: "Wе at Frееdоm Fісtіоnѕ rate thіѕ tаlе truе because we аrе аlѕо раrt оf thе Amеrіса’ѕ Lаѕt Lіnе of Defense network, and hоnеѕtlу, іf this іѕ іn the аrtісlе, аnd уоu still саn’t tеll іt’ѕ ѕаtіrе, уоu nееd a kick in the balls."
We rate this headline Pants on Fire!
America News Source, FACT CHECK: Yes, Nancy Pelosi Moved Billions from SSI to Cover Impeachment Costs, Jan. 18, 2020
PolitiFact, No, Nancy Pelosi didn’t divert Social Security money for the impeachment inquiry, Oct. 11, 2019
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