Social media stories that don’t hold water
A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:
NOT REAL: A Ship Appeared After 90 Years Of Being Missing In Bermuda Triangle
THE FACTS: The steamer S.S. Cotopaxi hasn’t reappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, more than 90 years since it was last heard from. The Online Newsfeed site says Cuban authorities intercepted the ship, which was said to have run into a tropical storm in 1925. According to news reports at the time, the Cotopaxi did report water in its hold and that it was listing. The ship sent out distress signals, then went silent. The false story circulating this week about its reappearance is similar to others that date to at least 2015, when an article appeared on a site that publishes hoaxes. After another version of the piece appeared in 2017, Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Woodall of U.S. Coast Guard office in Miami told The Associated Press his agency had received no reports of the Cotopaxi being recovered. The Coast Guard said Thursday that statement stands.
NOT REAL: Trump Removes Muslim Federal Judge For Trying To Implement Sharia Law In America
THE FACTS: President Donald Trump didn’t use an executive order to remove a Muslim federal judge for trying to implement Sharia law in the United States, despite the claims of a story shared online. That’s because there is no federal justice by the name of Hansam al Alallawalahi-Smith and there is no such body as the 22nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Dearborn, Michigan, as the identically worded articles on the floxyupdates and us-leader sites alleged. Also, presidents cannot remove judges from office with executive orders. The Constitution requires impeachment to remove a federal judge. The story is similar to ones previously circulated on social media about the nonexistent judge. The latest sites that published them couldn’t be reached for comment, as they offered no contact information and registered their pages through third-party services.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Find all AP Fact Checks here: https://www.apnews.com/tag/APFactCheck