Fake News! A look at what didn’t happen this week
A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:
Not Real: Update: Alabama Election Officials Found 5,329 More Dead Folks Who Voted For Jones
The Facts: Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill dismissed the viral story that over 5,000 of the votes for Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday’s special U.S. Senate election were cast by the dead. “There are not 5,000 dead people on the voters rolls unless they died today,” Merrill told the AP Thursday. The story is one of several false claims that cropped up after Jones’ victory over Roy Moore. Merrill also denied reports that vans of people in the country illegally voted in the race, and that University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban got all the write-in votes. The state has not begun counting the write-in votes, he said.
Not Real: Breaking: Roy Moore’s accuser arrested and charged with falsification
The Facts: A story published by a satire site called NoFakeNewsOnline and many others reported that Alabama Attorney General John Simmons filed misdemeanor charges of falsification against Mary Lynne Davies for accusing Moore of assaulting her. John Simmons is not the state’s attorney general, Steve Marshall is; and Mary Lynne Davies is not among the eight women who have publicly accused Moore of misconduct. Another story published on a hoax site claimed another Moore accuser had recanted her claims in a TV interview; the accuser was identified as Harley Hannah, not one of the eight women who have accused Moore, and was linked to a picture of a British singer.
Not Real: Breaking: First NFL Team Declares Bankruptcy Over Kneeling Thugs
The Facts: The Jacksonville Jaguars say they have no plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, despite the claims first published this month on the Patriot Post satire site and shared widely on several conservative sites. The satire piece said the Jaguars had lost income because team members knelt for the national anthem at home games. The team has not knelt for the anthem since September. The story also said it planned to file in the 3rd District Court of Atlanta. There is no court by that name, and any bankruptcy court filings for Jacksonville would go through the Middle District of Florida.
Not Real: London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, approves ‘banned’ Jihadi bank
The Facts: Khan did not approve the opening of a bank that funds terrorism and has been banned in the U.S., despite the claims of the conspiracy site YourNewsWire. For one thing, the mayor has no authority to approve the opening of any banks; that job in Britain goes to the Financial Conduct Authority. Khan did announce the opening in September of two London branches of Habib Bank AG Zurich , a Switzerland-based institution. There is a similarly named, but unrelated, entity called Habib Bank Ltd. , which is Pakistan’s largest bank and is based in Karachi. Habib Bank Ltd. was fined by New York state this year for failing to stop illicit money flows, including terrorist financing. Habib Bank AG Zurich has no offices in the U.S.
Not Real: Get a Free $50 Coupon from Starbucks by Taking an Online Survey
The Facts: Starbucks is not giving out $50 coupons in exchange for completing an online survey. The coffee chain said the links being shared on social media are phony and have been circulating for years. After people click the link and take the fake survey, they are told to share the link on their own Facebook account. Some signs the survey is fake: the Starbucks logo may look outdated and the wording in the survey may have typos or spelling errors. Starbucks said customers who can’t tell if a promotion is the real deal can call Starbucks customer care or ask an in-store employee.