A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the real facts.
CLAIM: Photo shows a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team giving a Nazi salute in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.
THE FACTS: The photo shows soccer player Ashlyn Harris raising her hand in celebration — not in a Nazi salute — next to her teammates, Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe. It was taken as they gathered July 10 outside the museum prior to a parade to honor their Women’s World Cup victory. The photo of the players is being shared by social media users with false claims such as, “Nazi salute in front of Holocaust Museum! Liberals are the true fascist!” The photo shows Harris with her left arm raised high and angled, her palm open and fingers spread. In a Nazi salute, a person’s right arm is extended to the front, just above the shoulder with the palm facing downward. The photo was taken after the Museum of Jewish Heritage hosted a breakfast for players before the ticker-tape parade to celebrate the championship, said Jeff Simmons, the executive vice president for Anat Gerstein, Inc., a public relations firm that works with the museum. Simmons said he snapped the image prior to the parade kickoff. “Clearly, this was a sign of victory as if they were on the field, and nothing more,” Simmons said in an email to The Associated Press. “Any suggestion otherwise is ill-intentioned and simply wrong.” Some of the team’s players have been the target of backlash on social media after President Donald Trump last month accused Rapinoe of “disrespect” in a January interview where she vowed to decline a White House invitation if the team won the world championship.
CLAIM: Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot left $100 million to the Trump 2020 campaign when he died.
THE FACTS: Perot, who died July 9, did not donate millions to the Trump campaign as reports online state. Social media users began circulating the false claim after it was posted by a satire site shortly after Perot’s death. According to the claim, Perot had given his 11 children $100 million with explicit instructions to donate $9 million each to Trump. Perot, who was 89, had only five children. James Fuller, a representative for the Perot family, told the AP in an email that the claim had no merit. “No contribution was made by Mr. Perot,” he said. “Ross, Jr. did make a small contribution.” The posts were accompanied by an altered Reuters photo taken of Perot when he ran for president as an independent in 1992. In the real photo, Perot holds up a copy of a 1948 Chicago Daily Tribune newspaper with the famous headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN,” which got the results wrong in the presidential race between New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey and Harry S. Truman. The paper was removed in the altered photo and replaced with a Trump 2020 sign.
CLAIM: Video shows migrants in Calais, France, their faces covered to conceal their identities, taking rocks from barriers on a highway and hurling them onto a roadway to disrupt traffic.
THE FACTS: The footage was taken in Israel, not in the northern port city in France. The video was shot in early July during unrest in Israel, following the killing of Solomon Teka, an Ethiopian Israeli teenager shot by an off-duty police officer. Posts with the false caption began circulating over the weekend and received more than a million views on Facebook. In the video, protesters can be seen standing on a highway barrier and throwing rocks onto the roadway. Major media outlets in Israel reported on the demonstration and included the video footage in their coverage. Channel 13 TV News-Israel shared the video on Twitter on July 2, saying in the caption that it showed the Ethiopian Israeli protests. Kan-Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation tweeted video of the protest from a different angle July 2, identifying the location as Gedera Junction in Israel. The Associated Press reported on July 3 that 12 activists were arrested during protests against the killing of Teka.
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.