WASHINGTON (AP) — 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: Spicer: “POTUS Didn’t Misspell ‘Covfefe’ – As Head Of State, He Has The Legal Power To Decide How English Is Spelled”
THE FACTS: The story shared widely by uspoln.com correctly quotes the White House press secretary as saying President Donald Trump “and a small group of people” knew the meaning of a word widely believed to be a typo in a tweet. The satire site then attributed several other quotes to Spicer that he did not say, including assertions that Trump was legally permitted to decide how English words are spelled, as “one of the perks of being president.”
NOT REAL: NEW YORK MOSQUE BURNS FLAG: SHOULD THEY BE PUNISHED?
THE FACTS: The story shared by numerous websites claims Muslims criticized Trump during a flag burning in late May outside a New York City mosque. Some versions include an AP photo of a crowd of people burning a U.S. flag. The photo was taken in 2012 in Bangladesh, where Muslims protested the release of a film they felt was anti-Islam. Another photo depicting the supposed leader of the mosque is actually a picture of British Muslim activist Anjem Choudary.
NOT REAL: RED ALERT: People Are Injecting HIV Blood Into BANANAS
THE FACTS: Numerous false stories of Walmart bananas being tainted with HIV blood have circulated online in recent weeks, some with attached photos of bananas with reddish streaks. Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman tells the AP the retail giant doesn’t know of any illnesses such as HIV linked to bananas purchased there. Walmart says the red streaks seen in some bananas come from a naturally occurring, harmless bacterial growth known as mokillo .
NOT REAL: Indiana Woman Gives Birth To 11 Baby Boys WITHOUT C-Section Delivery
THE FACTS: The story posted by a website named Universe of Nature claimed what would have been an extraordinary birth took place at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Hospital spokeswoman Whitney Ertel tells the AP the hospital has never delivered 11 babies during a single birth, and doesn’t employ a doctor named in the story on its labor and delivery team. Similar false stories have been circulating online for several years, including one about a woman in India delivering 11 babies at once.
NOT REAL: MASSIVE BUMBLE BEE RECALL AFTER 2 EMPLOYEES ADMIT COOKING A MAN AND MIXING HIM WITH A BATCH OF TUNA
THE FACTS: A worker was in fact killed when he got trapped in a massive pressure cooker at a Bumble Bee facility in California in October 2012; two workers pleaded guilty to charges related to the death and the seafood giant paid $6 million to settle charges. The death didn’t cause any recalls of the tuna, however, despite claims in stories shared recently by numerous websites.
This new weekly fixture is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing efforts to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.