Fake News Roundup: Week of May 21, 2018

("Fake News - Computer Screen Reading Fake News" by Mike MacKenzie, CC BY 2.0)

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. 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: American Restaurant Granted Permission to Sell Dog Meat!

THE FACTS: A long-circulated false article about a California restaurant putting canine flesh on its menu offers this new twist: the sales are going forward as a court considers whether selling dishes of dog is protected in the U.S. as part of freedom of religion. But the Los Angeles County public health department says there’s no such restaurant there called Puchow de Manila Eatery and Fine Dining, and they noted it’s illegal in the state to sell dog meat for human consumption. The most recent version of the story, which has circulated since at least 2014, alleges an unnamed “Filipino group” asked an unspecified Supreme Court to lift the ban because it violated members’ religious rights. The article on the grandemeli site said that in the meantime, the restaurant had “provisional permission” to serve the meat. The site couldn’t be reached for comment, as it published no contact information and registered the page through a third-party service.


NOT REAL: The U.S. District Attorney Has Announced That He Will Be Pursuing Charges of Treason Against the Former President Barack Obama

THE FACTS: A website is recirculating an inaccurate story claiming an FBI official announced he’s investigating former President Barack Obama for treason. The latest version of the story appeared on a site called webviners. It alleged FBI general counsel Dana Boente will pursue such charges, but Boente never made such an announcement. Also, the piece incorrectly identified him as “the U.S. District Attorney.” The article also erred in claiming Obama demoted Boente at some unspecified time during his administration, removing him from a Justice Department position that was second in line behind the attorney general, and that President Donald Trump reversed that action. Obama nominated Boente in 2015 to lead federal prosecutions in Virginia’s eastern district, and Boente remained in that job through the rest of Obama’s term. After Trump took office in January 2017, the new president brought Boente to the Justice Department in Washington, where he has served in several senior roles. He officially left the prosecutor’s job in Virginia in October. The webviners site administrators could not be reached for comment.


NOT REAL: Million Pounds Of Rat Meat Being Sold As Chicken Wings In U.S.

THE FACTS: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t issued a warning to consumers about 1 million pounds of rat meat being sold as boneless chicken wings and officials didn’t seize any such meat from China at the Port of San Francisco. Such claims have circulated on social media for more than a year. The latest version appeared on the Gun Society site. In an email this week, FDA spokesman Peter Cassell said the story isn’t true. While the tale has been published in the past as satire, the Gun Society site didn’t present it that way and did not offer contact information for a response.


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


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