Here’s the AP’s weekly roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:
NOT REAL: Florida Governor Rick Scott Now Listed As ‘Critical’ After Bizarre Hurricane Cleanup Accident
THE FACTS: The Last Line of Defense, a well-known producer of hoax stories, has claimed in a series of articles that Scott was severely hurt when a ceramic roof tile hit him in the head Monday during the cleanup following Hurricane Irma. Scott has been crisscrossing Florida surveying damage and checking in on relief efforts in the days since the storm hit and was not injured.
NOT REAL: Georgia Mosque KEEPS Hurricane Harvey donations, will send to Syrian refugees instead
THE FACTS: This viral hoax story from Daily Notify says the Ramazala Mosque in Peachton, Georgia, is diverting relief money for Harvey victims to refugees from Syria. Neither the mosque nor the town exists. In addition, the photo included in the story also appears on the site of a Canadian relief organization providing aid to Myanmar.
NOT REAL: Vladimir Putin donates $5 million dollars to Houston Hurricane Harvey victims
THE FACTS: While many well-known figures opened their wallets to make sizable contributions to relief efforts in Texas, the Russian president wasn’t one of them. A site make up to look like a news outlet claims Putin also called on “other individuals, organizations and also countries” to follow his lead in donating money. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells the AP he’s not aware of the leader making any such donation.
NOT REAL: Tony Romo OUT 4-6 Weeks After Suffering Sore Throat In Broadcasting Debut
THE FACTS: The former Cowboys quarterback is scheduled to be in the CBS broadcast booth Sunday in New Orleans when the New England Patriots take on the Saints. A prank story from Daily Snark claimed Romo would be replaced by a young broadcaster named Pak Brescott. The site appears to be ribbing Romo, who lost his job to rookie Dak Prescott last year after getting injured in the preseason.
NOT REAL: World’s most popular candy to be removed from shelves by October 2017!
THE FACTS: Fans of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups shouldn’t be concerned about the sweet and salty snack disappearing just before Halloween despite a story from Breaking News 365 that claims the candy is being discontinued. Hershey’s, which owns the Reese’s brand, tells the AP that people can rest assured that “the only people removing Reese’s products from shelves are consumers, who are taking them home to eat.”
This weekly feature is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing efforts to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.