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

A roundup of some of the week's most popular, but totally untrue, stories and pictures. None of these are legitimate, although they have been widely shared on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:
Photos and videos allegedly showing a Russian invasion of Ukraine are mislabeled
CLAIM: Videos show a Russian fighter jet falling to the ground after being shot down and combat squads flying together over the Ukrainian capital Kiev, while a photo of a plane on fire shows "the 6th Russian plane shot down by Ukraine" .
THE FACTS: As Russia unleashed airstrikes and ground attacks across Ukraine on Thursday, social media users shared old and out of context videos, falsely claiming they showed the invasion. Among them was video of a plane falling from the sky and bursting into flames, misidentified as a Russian warplane shot down in Ukraine. Video, obtained by The Associated Press, shows a fighter plane shot down by rebels in Libya in March 2011. Also misrepresented was a video showing multiple clips of jets flying in various formations over an overcast daytime sky with trees, buildings and power lines visible in each frame. A reverse image search revealed the video is almost two years old and was taken during a rehearsal for the 2020 Victory Day Parade in Moscow. A version of the video was posted to YouTube on May 4, 2020. A Russian-language caption identified it as the "aerial portion" of a "dress rehearsal." Meanwhile, a photo of a plane consumed by flames, mistakenly identified as a Russian jet shot down by Ukraine, was widely circulated. It was actually a mirrored version of an image going back three decades. According to a caption, it shows a pilot exiting a burning Russian MiG-29 after it collided with another during an air show in Britain in July 1993. The photo is credited to Carl Ford, who posted the image on his Flickr account as Good. Ford confirmed in an email to AP that the picture shared online was of him and that he took it at the 1993 Fairford Airshow.
— Associated Press writers Ali Swenson in New York, Amanda Seitz in Washington, and Angelo Fichera in Philadelphia contributed this report.
National milestone changes in child development not tied to a pandemic
CLAIM: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have quietly lowered early childhood development milestones in response to the pandemic.
THE FACTS: Experts drew on research conducted before the pandemic to recommend changes to childhood developmental milestones, which are used by pediatric professionals to identify developmental delays or disabilities. But social media users are misrepresenting updates on the milestones, such as communication or cognitive behavior, to falsely claim changes have been made due to the pandemic's impact on children through masks and lockdowns. Posts shared on social media shared screenshots of the updates and linked them to the pandemic. "You know how The Parents yelled through masks about developmental delays? Well @CDCgov just did that for us by lowering the milestones. The "new normal" is children with developmental delays," it said in a tweet. Researchers who participated in the study in collaboration with the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics say the milestone updates are unrelated to the pandemic because they are based on pre-pandemic data. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced that they have revised the milestones as part of Learn the Signs. Act Early,” a program designed to encourage parents to monitor their children for childhood developmental delays and disabilities. Pediatrics and early childhood care rely on milestones to identify developmental delays in children in hopes of identifying them earlier for treatment. The CDC had asked the American Academy of Pediatrics to assemble an expert panel to update the milestones, which were originally created in 2004. The group released their findings on February 8th. According to the CDC, milestone revisions were in the works for several years before the coronavirus outbreak. Researchers sought to standardize the age at which children can be expected to reach social and emotional milestones. For example, the group looked at what age children should start laughing or showing facial expressions, said Dr. Paul Lipkin, Member of the AAP Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Section and Council on Children with Disabilities. Previously, developmental milestone checklists were marked at an age when 50% of children could be expected to reach a given milestone. However, this was not helpful to families concerned about their child's development and could cause delays in diagnosing problems. To counteract this, the group recommended increasing the percentile of children from the 50% to 75% who are expected to exhibit behaviors by a certain age. dr Jennifer Cross, a developmental behavior pediatrician at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, said the new percentage will hopefully cushion more potential delays. The new milestones also added checklists at 15 months and 30 months (2.5 years). Checklists now cover children aged 2 months to 5 years. Lipkin, a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, added that the list of previous milestones is outdated. The researchers elaborated their revised recommendations in the Evidence-Informed Milestones for Developmental Surveillance Tools study, which clearly finds that experts collaborated in face-to-face meetings, six virtual meetings, and email reviews from January to September 2019. As experts continue to investigate the impact the pandemic has had on children, Lipkin said the new milestones in no way reflect it. "This was clearly an attempt to give families the best possible information so they can identify their children and get the help they need," he said.
The story goes on

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