A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue recent headlines. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out.
Here are the real facts:
NOT REAL: The Pentagon Invites ISIS To America As “White Helmets”
THE FACTS: A report circulating online that claims the Pentagon is inviting Islamic State group militants disguised as White Helmets rescue volunteers to the United States is false. The White Helmets are not Islamic State group militants, and they are not being invited to the United States. The NWO Report website, which says it focuses on conspiracy news, made the false claim in the headline of a story that discussed plans to evacuate White Helmets volunteers from war-torn Syria. The Israeli military last weekend rescued 98 White Helmets volunteers and their families, over 420 people, from a southern section of the country as government forces seized the area. The operation was conceived by Britain, Germany and Canada and supported by Israel, Jordan, the United States and the U.N. The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, have been working in war-ravaged parts of Syria since the civil war began in 2013. The group says their 3,000 volunteers have saved more than 115,000 lives in five years. The group made the shortlist for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. A Netflix documentary about the White Helmets won an Oscar for best documentary (short subject) last year. Navy Cdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, said the White Helmets were allowed into Jordan on a “transitory basis, until UNHCR completes procedures for their resettlement in follow-on countries.” According to the State Department, those countries are Canada, Britain and Germany. “The United States is not currently resettling any members of the White Helmets,” a State Department spokesperson told The Associated Press in an email. The email commended the countries that will be providing “permanent homes for these heroes.” Syria and Russia have called the White Helmets everything from a propaganda group to terrorists. They claim the White Helmets’ rescue videos are staged. NWO did not respond to a request by email for comment.
NOT REAL: Molson is gifting free 24 pack of Canadian Beer to Everyone to Celebrate 200th Year of Quality Taste!
THE FACTS: Molson Coors Brewing Company says it is not giving out free cases of beer, despite a coupon offer circulating online. The false offer asks users to fill out a survey to win a free 24-pack of beer. When users complete the survey, they are congratulated, told they have won a 24-pack of beer and then asked to share the link on Facebook and type “Thanks for my beer.” Jessica Teixeira, a Molson Coors spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that the website “is absolutely not genuine, nor is it run or endorsed by Molson Coors.” A variety of similar fake offers have been circulating online, including ones for free tickets on Delta Air Lines, and coupons for purchases at Dollar General stores.
NOT REAL: Liberal Who Destroyed Trump’s Hollywood Star To Be Banned From Voting For Life
THE FACTS: The man arrested for destroying President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will not lose his right to vote for the rest of his life, as claimed in a report circulating widely online. A story on YourNewsWire says Austin Clay, 24, “has been charged with felony vandalism and is set to be banned from voting for the rest of his life” for demolishing Trump’s star with a pickax. Clay was booked on suspicion of felony vandalism July 25 by the Los Angeles Police Department. Formal charges have not been filed, according to Paul Eakins, the public information officer for the district attorney’s office. But even if he was ultimately charged with felony vandalism, convicted, and given the maximum sentence, California law states he would be eligible to vote once his sentence and any related parole time had been served. In fact, if Clay was convicted and sentenced to serve time in a county jail in California, he would still be able to vote while jailed, in keeping with a bill Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in 2016. YourNewsWire did not respond to requests for comment.
NOT REAL: Fat tourists are CRIPPLING the donkeys that carry them around the Greek island of Santorini forcing locals to crossbreed them with mules to make them sturdier
THE FACTS: Donkeys are not being bred with mules to create a stronger animal to carry overweight tourists on the steep terrain of the Greek island Santorini, as several online news sites reported this week. Alexandra Dimopoulou, a representative with the Greek-based Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation, said the reports are false. “No, it isn’t truth that Santorini locals are breeding donkeys with mules to accommodate heavier tourists,” she said in an email. Mules, a cross between a male donkey and a female horse, are virtually sterile and not used for breeding, according to The Donkey Sanctuary, a British-based advocacy group. They noted mules are considered stronger and can carry more weight than donkeys. Last month, advocacy groups met with Santorini Mayor Nikos Zorzos to address several concerns about the welfare of equines, including how long they should work each day and how much weight they are allowed to carry. The Donkey Sanctuary suggests visitors look at the welfare of the animal before deciding whether to saddle up.
NOT REAL: Get a $100 Chipotle Card
THE FACTS: Chipotle did not give away $100 gift cards for National Avocado Day on Tuesday, or any other day for that matter. A false offer, which circulated widely on social media last week, provided a link that took users to a page that read “National Avocado Day Get a $100 Chipotle Card.” They were then asked to “Invite 4 friends To Get Your Chipotle Card. After 4 Friends Click Your Link Get Your Card Quickly!” The false gift card page included a fake Facebook comments section. Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief communications officer, told The Associated Press the restaurant chain was not giving away gift cards. “It’s a scam that the company is aware of and working to address,” Schalow said.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Find all AP Fact Checks here: https://www.apnews.com/tag/APFactCheck