You've Probably Seen These Urban Legends On The Internet. But Are They True?
When you see something pop up in your newsfeed that doesn't past the smell test, what do you do? Where do you go to figure out if it's fake news?
That's where Snopes comes in. They do a great job fact-checking the most popular stories on the web. Here's a run-down of some of the more outlandish rumors they've covered lately.
Republicans love to paint Bernie Sanders as a limousine socialist, preaching charity but practicing corruption behind closed doors. To this end, a series of photos circulated online, appearing to show the former Democratic presidential candidate in an Audi R8, which he allegedly purchased with campaign funds.
Another photo was spread on the online forum 4Chan which claimed to show Sanders with his ill-gotten donor-funded supercar.
Only one problem: that picture actually shows Sanders with a Tesla electric car at a charging station. He was promoting green energy, not showing off his whip. Haters.
Also (naturally) there is absolutely no evidence of Sanders embezzling nearly $200,000 from his own campaign. You would think someone might notice that.
if you think its unlikely that the same improbable fate befell genitalia in both Edmonton, Albert and Tulsa, Oklahoma at the same time… Youre right. It's 100% fake news.
Its also 100% proof that the fidget spinner has 100% jumped the shark 100% faster than any fad in human history.
Did 'The Simpsons' predict the future again?
Find out on the next page!
This photo made the rounds on Facebook recently.
People have claimed that the top image, from The Simpsons, was a screenshot from a 2002 episode of the show. Therefore, The Simpsons, well-known for predicting future events, predicted that Donald Trump would one day go to Saudi Arabia and touch a giant orb. How spooky is that?
Yeah, its not spooky at all. It turns out that the image was taken from this video posted by Animation on Fox. You can see it around the 6-second mark - blink and you might miss it!
This bizarre meme was recently shared by the Facebook group Conservative Veterans For America, claiming that Marines are practically falling over themselves to get close to President Trump.
If this one causes you to raise an eyebrow, youre not alone.
As Snopes notes, if the number on this image is accurate, that would mean approximately 8% of the total Marine Corps asked to be assigned to a special special detail in the span of one week, while 0% had applied in the previous eight years.
Not only is there exactly zero evidence supporting this fact, but Marines are hand-picked for White House duties. Its not something you volunteer for. They find you.
Hitler said what?
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This line has become standard fare for online conservatives trolling liberals by trying to claim Hitler was a 'leftist' who encouraged 'class warfare.' You may have heard (or seen) this quote attributed to the late dictator:
Of course, Hitler never said this. The quote was actually drawn from a 1926 pamphlet penned by early Nazi Gregor Strasser - one of Hitlers moral enemies.
The false attribution originated with a 2016 article on the conservative website Louder with Crowder, which argued that liberals have wrongly characterized Nazism as a right-wing movement - offering up this false quote as a proof.
Indeed, in the early days, some National Socialists did take the socialist aspect of party philosophy seriously. But like Strasser, all of the leading left-wing Nazis were purged shortly after Hitler came to power.
Well, that would be one way of foaming a cappuccino.
In May 2017, a World News Daily story began to spread claiming that a disgruntled employee had been taking liquid revenge on his boss for years:
"After a dispute with his boss this morning, Mr. Williams admitted in front of a dozen coworkers, that he had ejaculated in her coffee 'hundreds of times.'
According to Brian Little, an intern who witnessed the entire scene, Lewis Williams showed no remorse while he confessed his crime.
'He almost looked proud when he told her: Ive been eating your [bleep] for four years, but all this time, youve been drinking my [bleep]! He then smiled and explained everything.'"
Unfortunately (or fortunately, Im not sure which) this story is completely made up, just like all stories on World News Daily - as they themselves freely admit.
Is a liberal outlet urging you to kill Republicans?
It's on the next page!
After the shooting of Republican Congressman Steve Scalise last week, this sickening image, allegedly a product of the left-leaning outlet Vox, gained traction online:
This added to the ongoing hysteria among some on the far right that liberals were systemically fomenting and inciting violence against conservative leaders.
The image is a hoax. The man who originally shared it on Twitter claimed to be the editor-in-chief of Vox. In reality, he is in no way affiliated with the outfit, and appears to be doing some fomenting and inciting of his own.
This one is partly true. Its also a good reminder of why context is important, and why quote-mining people is petty, stupid, and dangerous.
This story also emerged as part of the shameful back-and-forth online blame game that followed the shooting of Republican Congressman Steve Scalise. Heres the original tweet from Senator Pauls official twitter account:
In reality, these are not Senator Pauls words. He was quoting Fox commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano, who was speaking at a lecture series organized by Paul at that time.
Also, according to the Senators staff, the quote was tweeted by a staffer.
A penis-shaped motorcade?
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This is the secret to making really good fake news: give people a story that they desperately want to be true. They won't want fact-check it for fear of shattering the delicious illusion. I mean, how great would it be if the police guarding the president decided to give him the security cordon he truly deserves?
This is the picture in question, by the way. Shout out the genius who drew in the anatomy just in case we were too mature to realize what the bike formation looked like.
Unfortunately, this is most definitely a case of photoshop. It's not President Trump's motorcade. In fact, this image was apparently edited from video footage of Russian President Vladimir Putins 2012 inauguration.
So I guess there is some genuine poetic justice in this photo after all...
As ridiculous as it sounds, this story seems to keep resurfacing. Every now and then, some crackpot comes out in the media and claims that they can survive without sustenance, feeding instead on light, or the energy of the universe, or some such nonsense.
Common sense should tell you that this one is 100% bull. But if you had any doubt, Breatharian Novena Shine attempted to go 100 days without eating any food, surviving on light alone. She suspended the experiment after 47 days.
Good thing too; at least 4 people have died trying to adhere to this diet.
Did Barron Trump win a major award?
Find out on the next page!
Just this week, the news site The Daily Chronicle wrote a story about an award President Trumps youngest son won for his academic prowess.
"This just in: Barron Trump wins a hugely important award in the field of academics.
Barron, who has been working tirelessly at his prep school, made his Science Awards debut with a brand new project centered around the regulation of thermodynamics in shale rock in the upper peninsula of Lake Porter, Arkansas.
Trump won the grand prize of the festivities: a check for $150,000 to continue his education in the field of Thermodynamics.
'Ive never seen a smarter kid,' president of the Science Awards Teddy Rusker said. 'Really, his project was incredible. He might end up being the next great American scientist.'"
As you might guess, theres no such thing as the Science Awards (really - thats the best you could come up with?!) and this whole story appears to be completely fabricated.
The Daily Chronicle touts itself as an honest alternative to the lying mainstream media while fishing fake news nuggets out of their toilet bowls. If youre going to turn your imagination loose, at least come up with a more specific name than the Science Awards.
CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider, humanity's most powerful tool for smashing atoms together in our quest to understand the fundamental nature of matter. Its also a giant magnet for conspiracy theorists, who love to latch onto subjects that are not easily explained or understood.
The latest conspiracy about CERN involves video footage that purports to show scientists (or maybe just "New World Order elites") conducting a human sacrifice at the facility.
Heres the video:
And here is the CERN FAQ explanation.
I have seen a video of a strange ritual at CERN, is it real?
No, this video is a work of fiction. CERN fills up with visitors over summer, with users from across the world who come to CERN as part of their work, and some of whom occasionally let their sense of humour go too far, and that is what has happened on this occasion. CERN does not condone this kind of spoof.
Thanks for reading. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....
Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.