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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke April 14, 2023

U.S. government institutions haven’t shuttered, despite Facebook claims

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  • This claim is unfounded. 

A recent Instagram post paints an apocalyptic picture in which central banks and U.S. corporations are all shuttering because they’re bankrupt, while some of the country's best known institutions have already done so. 

"Congress, White House, IRS, Feds, Rederal Reserve are shut down," the April 13 post says, misspelling the Federal Reserve.

Accompanying the claims is a photo of a pile of gold with this caption: "With 650 flights, 60,000 tons of gold has been returned to THE PEOPLE EARTH!! (that’s a drop in the bucket)!!! From the Vatican flew to America."

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Congress, the White House, the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI and the Federal Reserve shutting down would constitute a huge news event,  yet no such media reports exist. 

Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate were in session April 13 — there’s video evidence — and both adjourned with plans to reconvene April 17.

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When we called the FBI’s national press office April 14, someone answered. 

Tax Day is looming (April 18, if you haven’t filed yet), and the IRS has been tweeting away about taxpayer assistance centers and potential tax credits.

And although President Joe Biden is overseas, his press secretary continues to hold press briefings there and perform official duties.

Plus, that photo of gold and claims that it came from the Vatican have been circulating for a while. In 2021, Agence France-Presse checked a claim that those and other gold bars had been seized in Vatican City, but there’s no evidence to support that claim, either.

This particular photo was published online as early as October 2016, in a Croatian news report about how the wealthy don’t trust banks with their gold. 

We rate claims that these government institutions have shut down Pants on Fire!


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U.S. government institutions haven’t shuttered, despite Facebook claims

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