1. An aide to Hillary Clinton did not refer to “idiot US soldiers” in an email about Benghazi, and then sign off of that email with “Black Power!”
Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton adviser who served as her chief of staff when she was secretary of state, did not send an email saying she thought “idiot US soldiers deserved to die” in Benghazi. For one thing, the email “screenshot” being passed around is dated two months before the Benghazi attacks. And the phrase “idiot US soldiers” does not appear in any of the WikiLeaks email archives, as Snopes noted.
The full text of this email is an obvious troll, to the point that many who are seeing it in pro-Donald Trump Twitter and Facebook posts are openly expressing skepticism about it. But over the past several days, others have either reposted or quoted from the image as if it were real. Please don’t do that; this isn’t a real email.
2. Brad Pitt didn’t shock liberals and endorse Trump
A news article that reads as though it was run trough Google translator a couple of times claimed that actor Brad Pitt had endorsed Donald Trump for president because he was “tired of Liberals taking my money,” and that Trump has “hired more employees, more people, than anyone I know in the world.” He didn’t say any of this.
In fact, Pitt has talked about Trump before, and it didn’t sound like what we quoted above at all. “I can’t bring myself to think that Trump will be in charge. In the simplest terms, what brings us together is good, and what separates us is bad,” Pitt told author Marlon James in an interview for the New York Times’s T Magazine. Pitt did express sympathy for people who do support Trump, but it’s pretty clear in context that he’s speaking about a way of thinking with which he disagrees:
“Coming from Oklahoma, southern Missouri, which leans more toward a Trump voice, I try to understand it. It seems that the people who suffer the most end up betting for the party that would hurt them. And so I try to understand where they’re coming from.”
3. You can’t vote in the presidential elections by tweeting out a hashtag.
There are a couple of different memes going around targeting Clinton supporters, basically claiming you can vote online with a tweet or a Facebook post on Election Day. You can’t.
The particular image shown here (although there are others this year) started months ago on 4chan in a thread as a joke. The main subreddit for Trump supporters spotted it there, and reposted it to their own boards. Redditors then excitedly commented about the prospect of flooding the Internet with the image closer to Election Day.
These sorts of hoaxes happen pretty much every election, so few should be surprised that they’re starting to circulate again now. But because this has been an election season full of memes escaping from their normal homes and into mainstream political discussions, the anti-Hillary “vote online” meme has become a bit of an issue in Pennsylvania for one official.
4. A new poll doesn’t show Trump getting 92 percent of the vote.
A poll — or really, a headline and image giving the suggestion of a poll — claimed that Trump had the support of 92 percent of potential voters. The story, posted to a couple generic fake news websites, takes advantage of frustration among Trump supporters who say that the media is skewing polling data to make it seem as if Trump is losing. One of the articles discussing the fake poll says that the survey was done by a bunch of college students working for Fox News Channel anchor Bill O’Reilly, and that those kids called either 70,000 or 700,000 voters (it varies at different points in the very short story) in all 50 states to get the results. But the poll doesn’t exist, and it’s wrong. The story was still shared widely on Facebook.
The specific detail of having college students call voters appears in a couple of other poll hoaxes, too. There’s this misrepresentation of a non-scientific viewer poll O’Reilly did this month, and there’s also a weird but persistent copypasta (usually credited to this user and using much of the same language as that linked post) claiming to show what a “real poll” looks like.
The copypasta text, written from the first-person perspective of one of the people who conducted the hoax poll, claims that “my friends and I are all Graduate students from all walks of life,” and that “It took us most of two weeks to be sure our calls were to all people and not just one party or an other we called Americans.”
“What was fake on the Internet this election” will publish every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through at least the week of the elections, or until all of this stuff starts to taper off.
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