NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

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For free real-time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our breaking news emails. Here are some of the most popular but completely false stories and visuals from this week that have been widely shared on social media.

Claim: A bank owned by Dominion Voting Systems, Sequoia Capital, donated $2 million to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Facts: This claim is false. While a venture capitalist from Sequoia Capital did contribute $2 million to a political group supporting DeSantis, Dominion Voting Systems does not own Sequoia Capital. The claim falsely suggests that DeSantis is receiving financial support from Dominion, a company that was the subject of false claims and conspiracy theories related to the 2020 election. Dominion Voting Systems clarified that they have no business connection to Sequoia Capital and any claims suggesting otherwise are completely false.

Claim: A viral Facebook hoax is falsely claiming that a serial killer is on the loose in various US cities.
The Facts: This claim is also false. The mug shot circulating on social media is of Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, who was accused of killing three people in the Houston area in 2018. However, Rodriguez has been in a detention facility awaiting trial since then and remains behind bars. There is no active investigation of a serial killer in the areas mentioned in the hoax.

Claim: Video shows President Joe Biden struggling to speak for a whole minute in an interview with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC.
The Facts: This claim is misleading. The video is an edited clip from a 20-minute interview with Biden, where moments of his speech were selectively chosen to make it appear that he struggled to speak for over a minute. The full interview does not show Biden struggling to speak for such a long duration. Biden has a history of stuttering since childhood, and the edited clip misrepresents his speech.

Claim: A video showing a beach club in Kyiv proves that the war in Ukraine is “fake.”
The Facts: This claim is false. While the video does show people partying at a beach club in Kyiv, it does not prove that the war in Ukraine is fictitious. The war has been primarily concentrated in the eastern part of the country, but Kyiv has still experienced attacks from Russia. The original author of the video confirmed that it was taken in Kyiv and explained that it was meant to showcase that people in Ukraine can still live a normal life despite the war.

In conclusion, it is crucial to be aware of false information and fact-check before sharing stories on social media. Misleading claims can easily spread, but by verifying the facts, we can ensure that accurate and reliable information is shared.

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