Facts Matter: U.S. has not reinstated military draft
Following the U.S. drone hit earlier this month that killed Iran Gen. Qassem Soleimani, there was an increase in Google searches for the phrase "draft age," according to Snopes.com.
Soon after that, some people received a text message claiming the user had been picked for the draft and should report to the nearest military branch for "immediate departure to Iran."
A follow-up text said the user would be "fined and sent to jail for minimum 6 years" if he or she didn't reply, Snopes said.
But there is no draft age, because the draft has not been reinstated and the text messages did not come from the military.
The agency responsible for implementing a draft, the Selective Service, took to Twitter to say it was "conducting business as usual."
The Selective Service said, if necessary, the president and Congress would have to pass legislation in order to authorize a draft.
A Jan. 7 statement from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command said, "these texts are false and were not initiated by this command or the U.S. Army.
"The draft has not been in effect since 1973. The military has been an all-volunteer force since that time."
Information about volunteering can be found at a local Army recruiting station, the statement said.
Iran didn't receive payment from U.S., other nations
During an address Wednesday at the White House, President Donald Trump said Iran received a payment after agreeing to a deal restricting that nation's nuclear power.
"Iran's hostility substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013," Trump said. "And they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash."
But that money originally belonged to Iran, according to The Associated Press.
The $150 billion the president cited referred to funds that had been frozen by foreign banks as a result of international sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. After the nuclear deal was signed in 2015 and the sanctions were lifted, Iran gained access to its money.
The "$1.8 billion in cash" was money the U.S. owed Iran, due to "the settlement of a decades-old claim between the two countries," according to The Washington Post.
In the 1970s, Iran paid the U.S. $400 million for military equipment that was never delivered, the Post said. Shortly after agreeing to the sale, the relationship between the two countries was disrupted when Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran.
In January 2016 the $400 million was returned to Iran, along with $1.3 billion (not $1.8 billion) in interest.
Video edited to make Biden appear racist
A "deceptively edited" video, which makes it appear Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made a racist statement, received more than a million views after it was posted New Year's Day, according to PolitiFact.com.
In the 17-second clip, Biden says, "The culture, our culture, our culture is not imported from some African nation or some Asian nation, it is our English jurisprudential culture -- our European culture."
In some social media posts, the clip includes the comment, "It's almost like Joe Biden is a racist," <URL destination=" https://apnews.com/57b3faa9aedcbdfcf167463eeb8eea63">according to The Associated Press.
</URL>The short video was taken from Biden's 13-minute answer after he was asked about his work combating domestic assault and sexual violence, PolitiFact said. The former vice president was speaking at a Dec. 30 event in New Hampshire.
Biden talked about his work in the Senate when he supported the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. He goes on to say violence against women is rooted in European culture and the U.S. must change that culture, PolitiFact said.
In the unedited statement, Biden said, "Folks, this is about changing the culture, our culture, our culture. It's not imported from some African nation or some Asian nation. It's our English jurisprudential culture, our European culture that says it's all right."
Koala pic not from recent Australian fires
As wildfires sweep across Australia, stories and photos showing devastation to the area's wildlife have been circulating on the internet.
A photo recently making the rounds on social media shows a koala bear face down on a pile of towels with its paws resting in four containers while being treated for burns.
The koala, named Jeremy, was rescued from an Australian fire and was treated for burns, but it happened five years ago, according to Snopes.com.
The image was posted on the Australian Marine Wildlife Research & Rescue Organization Facebook page in January 2015, Snopes said. The research and rescue group said Jeremy, a young male koala being treated for second-degree burns, was the first bush fire victim at the clinic and was "doing very well and is in great spirits."
• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.