Facts Matter: Ukrainians are not selling captured Russian tank on eBay

  • A destroyed Russian tank is seen Thursday after battles north of Kyiv, Ukraine. Social media posts incorrectly claim a captured tank in good condition is available for sale on eBay.

    A destroyed Russian tank is seen Thursday after battles north of Kyiv, Ukraine. Social media posts incorrectly claim a captured tank in good condition is available for sale on eBay. Associated Press Photo

 
 
Posted3/13/2022 6:00 AM

An image of what appears to be a Russian tank for sale on the eBay auction site has been circulating on social media recently.

The supposed eBay listing shows an apparent Russian T-72 tank that is "fully functional" selling for the price of $400,000. A Facebook post of the image includes the comment, "Just Ukrainians selling Russian tanks on eBay."

 

Although reports claim more than 100 Russian tanks have been damaged or destroyed since the invasion of Ukraine began last month, the idea that Ukrainians are selling a captured armored vehicle on the internet is false, according to USA Today.

The image is made to appear as an actual eBay listing, complete with the company's colorful logo on top, condition: used, "Buy It Now" and "Make Offer" buttons, and a timer counting down to the end of the auction.

But eBay spokesperson Trina Somera told USA Today the fake post doesn't appear on the auction site. The sale of military weapons and vehicles is prohibited on eBay.

Real listings on eBay for Russian T-72 tanks actually are for toys.

The tank photo in the false auction image has been used on various websites since 2010.

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An older section of the border wall divides Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, from Sunland Park, New Mexico. Stories circulating online incorrectly claim the $6 billion in aid President Joe Biden is seeking for Ukraine would have been enough to fund former President Donald Trump's entire southern border wall project.
An older section of the border wall divides Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, from Sunland Park, New Mexico. Stories circulating online incorrectly claim the $6 billion in aid President Joe Biden is seeking for Ukraine would have been enough to fund former President Donald Trump's entire southern border wall project. - Associated Press File Photo
Border wall funds more than Ukraine aid

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict intensifies, U.S. President Joe Biden had been seeking $10 billion, up from his original $6.4 billion request, in aid to Ukraine, The Associated Press reported. (Congress on Thursday passed a $13.6 billion emergency package of military and humanitarian aid.)

Some social media users have claimed that money could have paid for former President Donald Trump's border wall.

"The Biden regime and Democrats want 6 billion for Ukraine. That would've funded Trump's entire southern border wall project. These people don't give (expletive) about you," read a Twitter post that was shared more than 5,000 times.

But those numbers don't add up, according to the AP.

Trump's 2016 plan to build a "virtually impenetrable" wall along the U.S.-Mexico border first was estimated at $8 billion, but he said Mexico would pay for it. Shortly after that, Trump said the wall would cost between $10 billion and $12 billion.

The Trump administration ultimately secured more than $16 billion for the wall, with $5.8 billion appropriated by Congress and the rest coming from diverted funds from the Defense and Treasury departments, the AP said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Nearly 450 miles of new wall was built before Biden suspended construction.

Oil drilling rigs operate at sunset on March 7 in El Reno, Oklahoma. Social media posts incorrectly claim the Biden administration shut down oil production in the U.S., leading to higher gasoline prices.
Oil drilling rigs operate at sunset on March 7 in El Reno, Oklahoma. Social media posts incorrectly claim the Biden administration shut down oil production in the U.S., leading to higher gasoline prices. - Associated Press Photo
Biden didn't shut down oil production

Gas prices, already topping $4 per gallon, could climb higher after President Joe Biden banned imports of Russian oil following the invasion of Ukraine.

Some social media users are blaming the increase on Biden administration policies.

"Everyone here knows gas is high because they shut down production in the U.S. but here is an extremely simple breakdown for people with short memories," read a recent Facebook post, which included a graphic credited to the website GasBuddy.

But that post gets several details wrong, according to PolitiFact.

Energy experts have said the increase in gas prices is mostly a supply and demand issue. The demand increased after the lockdown from the coronavirus pandemic ended. Other factors driving up the price include inflation and the war in Ukraine.

U.S. oil production in 2021 (11.185 million barrels of crude oil per day) was comparable to 2020 (11.283 million) and exceeded production from 2016-28.

In his first year in office, Biden issued an executive order to halt new oil and gas lease sales on government land. But that order was struck down by a federal judge months later and the pause didn't affect total oil production.

GasBuddy spokesperson Patrick De Haan told PolitiFact that the graph included in the Facebook post wasn't produced by the consumer website.

Oprah not hawking weight-loss pill

Recent social media posts claim Oprah Winfrey has found a new way to lose weight.

"Oprah reveals her fully-natural solution," reads a March 7 Facebook post that claims Winfrey lost 62 pounds in 6 weeks by taking a diet pill. There also is an article headlined, "Oprah swears: 'It's a treadmill in a pill.'"

But the post is "completely false," a Winfrey spokesperson told PolitiFact.

The post shows a screenshot from a 2014 episode of Winfrey's show, which featured Dr. Mehmet Oz and acupuncturist Daniel Hsu. A link with the post brings the user to a blog that doesn't have any information about Winfrey or a specific weight-loss method, PolitiFact said.

Winfrey has a longtime partnership with WW, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers, and has owned a stake in the organization since 2015.

• 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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