Facts Matter: Trump tweet goes viral ­-- but it's fake

  • A British man created a fake Twitter post that appeared to come from President Donald Trump.

    A British man created a fake Twitter post that appeared to come from President Donald Trump.

Updated 6/23/2018 6:59 PM

A fake Twitter post appearing to be sent by President Donald Trump commented about the stock market and included a misspelling.

Its actual author says he was shocked when it went viral.


"If the Dow Joans ever falls more than 1000 'points' in a Single Day the sitting president should be 'loaded' into a very big cannon and Shot into the sun at TREMENDOUS SPEED! No excuses!," says the false post, which purported to be from Feb. 15, 2015.

The Twitter post showed up on social media in March, following a sharp drop in the Dow Jones index.

Shaun Usher, a British blogger and curator of historic letters, said he meant the post as a parody of Trump's current views clashing with his pre-presidential statements, the News Literacy Project reports.

Usher expressed surprise people were taking the tweet seriously and posted again a short time later. "Not for one second did I think people would believe that to be genuine," he wrote.

Several websites, such as Factba.se, run by former U.S. News and World Report vice president Bill Frischling, track actual Trump Twitter posts. Trump has posted on the platform more than 37,000 times since 2009, according to the News Literacy Project.

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Is Winnie the Pooh female?

"How old were you when you found out Winnie the Pooh is a girl?" read a Twitter post earlier this month.

The beloved title character of A.A. Milne's children's books was suddenly having his gender questioned.

This rumor came from the 2015 book "Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear," which traces the inspiration for Pooh to a female bear named Winnipeg who lived at the London Zoo, according to Snopes.com.

But Milne referred to Pooh as "he" throughout the books written in the 1920s, Snopes reports. "Winnie-the-Pooh" begins with a bear named Edward who was "known to his friends as Winnie-the-Pooh."

The name came from a stuffed bear the author gave to his son, Christopher Robin Milne, on the boy's first birthday. That toy bear was named Edward but was called Winnie after the youngster visited the brown bear at the zoo, according to Time.com. "Pooh" was the product of a name Christopher Robin Milne gave to a swan.


Trump cartoon just part of the story

A recent Twitter post, urging readers to share, displays a cartoon of President Trump snatching an immigrant child and claims that image got the artist fired.

Editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers, 59, was let go last week by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette but his bosses said the firing was not the result of a single cartoon.

The paper's editorial director, Keith Burris, had recently rejected a number of Rogers' drawings, "including some on President Donald Trump," according to the Post-Gazette.

Rogers, who has worked at the Pittsburgh newspaper for 25 years, was unwilling to "collaborate" with Burris about his work, the Post-Gazette said.

In response to the firing, the Post-Gazette's newsroom managers and Newspaper Guild members purchased advertising space in Tuesday's paper, the Post-Gazette reported. The ad includes a photo of the staff and maintains newsroom operations are separate from the editorial page.

Rogers, in an Op-Ed piece published by The New York Times, said in March management decided his cartoons about Trump were "too angry." During a recent three-month period 19 cartoons or proposals were rejected, he said.

Not all were about the president. A cartoon featuring a hooded Klansman in a doctor's office asking the physician, "Could it be the Ambien?" was killed after it was already placed on a page in preparation for publication, Rogers said.

Story follows De Niro's speech

Robert De Niro's colorful speech during the June 10 Tony Awards resurrected a 20-year-old story that the actor was involved in a child sex trafficking ring.

Although the charge was deemed "mostly false" by Snopes.com, there was an incident that launched the fake claim.

In 1998 De Niro was questioned after his name was mentioned by a person involved in an investigation of a group charged with "procuring" prostitution in France. He was not charged and was not in any other way involved in the case, according to Snopes.

An article published in 1998 mentioned De Niro as a possible client of the prostitution ring.

On the heels of the Oscar winner's expletive-filled outburst against President Donald Trump earlier this month, the story took off on social media, now with a pedophilia claim. It had nearly 80,000 likes 10 days later, according to trend-monitoring website Trendolizer.com.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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