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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 8, 2023

Satirical story about Michelle Obama’s mother repackaged as real news

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  • This story originated on a satire site. Former first lady Michelle Obama’s mother isn’t dead.

"Are you awake yet…?" asks a recent Instagram post sharing supposed evidence that former first lady Michelle Obama was born male. 

"Michelle Obama’s mother dies, leaves inheritance to ‘My son Michael,’’ reads what looks like a news headline in the May 7 post. It appears next to an altered photo of former President Barack Obama with his arm his wife, whose appearance has been doctored to make her look like a man.

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.)

The headline isn’t authentic. 

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It originated on a self-described satire website as early as 2019, and falsely claims, among other things, that Michelle Obama’s mother, Mary McGillicuddy Robinson, died and left her inheritance to her son, "Michael Robinson Obama."

Michelle Obama’s mother is Marian Robinson, not Mary McGillicuddy Robinson, and she’s not dead. And she does have a son but his name is Craig, not Michael; he’s Michelle Obama’s brother

We rate this post Pants on Fire!


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Satirical story about Michelle Obama’s mother repackaged as real news

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