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

A summary of some of the week's most popular but totally untrue stories and images. None of it is legitimate, although it was widely used on social media. The Associated Press reviewed it. Here are the facts:
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CLAIM: NASCAR, which recently banned the Confederate flag at its events, is now forcing its drivers to Muslim prayer.
THE FACTS: NASCAR does not force drivers to Muslim prayer. The false claim was spread with a photo of drivers participating in a longstanding tradition called "kissing the bricks" at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A post with the photo triggered more than 140,000 views last weekend. "So NASCAR bans the Confederate flag but forces all of its drivers to say Muslim prayer?" it read. "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Unacceptable !!" NASCAR has been the target of great praise and contempt since it announced it would ban the Confederate flag from its events and properties, and referred to the need to provide fans with a “more welcoming and inclusive” environment, but the auto racing association has not asked its athletes to take part in a Muslim prayer. The photo, which went viral on social media, shows drivers taking part in a known one NASCAR tradition to participate in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Yard of Bricks, started by driver Dale Jarrett in 1996. After Jarrett won the Brickyard 400 race, he and his crew went to the finish line, knelt and kissed the yard-long section of the bricks Since then, the winners of the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and other races have been doing the same thing he shows that the photo was taken in July 2016 when Kyle Busch won the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 race on the track.
CLAIM: The public service announcement warns of a white supremacist who has shot blacks at traffic lights. He drives a white truck and was last seen in Mesa, Arizona.
THE FACTS: State and local Arizona police officers, as well as organizations involved in white supremacist violence, said they had received no reports last week of a gunman targeting black drivers in Mesa, surrounding cities, or anywhere in the state. You also have not published a public announcement. On Tuesday evening, June 16, a post was posted on Instagram and Facebook that looked like a public announcement and contained the allegations of a violent white supremacist in Arizona. "PSA," it said in the post, "when you're in AZ, there is a white supremacist who shoots black people at traffic lights. He drives a white truck." The post added that the driver was last in Mesa, one Suburb of Phoenix, seen identical posts posted on Facebook more than 100,000 times by Wednesday afternoon, Mesa Police Department officials said there was no evidence of such activity in the city. "We don't have anything like that "Detective Jason Flam, the department's information officer, emailed the AP." Our intelligence agency is aware of the counterfeit PSA and is investigating it. "Flam said he was concerned that someone with the unfounded post" tries to create fear. ”He said he had contacted the surrounding authorities in Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale and Tempe to investigate whether the posts were targeting multiple cities. Officials at these locations were not aware of any similar PSAs that were in circulation in their jurisdictions, he said. The Arizona Department of Public Safety has not seen any incidents like the one described in the post, spokesman Raul Garcia told the AP. "This can be an example of disinformation that is said to divide the community and cause fear," he said in an email. "I submitted the information to the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center." Both ACLU spokeswoman Marcela Taracena and Arizona's Southern Poverty Law Center spokeswoman Rebecca Sturtevant said they had not received reports of a white supremacist shooting Arizona people.
CLAIM: “Nancy Green (aka Aunt Jemima) was born into slavery. She was a great cook. When she was released, she turned her talent into a cooking brand that General Mills had bought and used her likeness. She died in 1923 as one of the first black millionaires in America. "
THE FACTS: There is no evidence that Green's portrayal as Aunt Jemima made her a millionaire. After Quaker Oats announced on Wednesday that it would retire the Aunt Jemima brand, known for its pancake mixes, online posts spread a false story about the first woman to portray Aunt Jemima. "Aunt Jemima do you really know her story?" In a Facebook post with the wrong claim, Quaker Oats' decision to remove the character from the brand was criticized. The brand got its name from the minstrel song "Old Aunt Jemima", which was composed by the African-American comedian and performer Billy Kersands. Inspired by the song after listening to it during a minstrel performance, Chris Rutt, who created the pancake flour in 1889, decided to give his pancake flour its name. At that time, Aunt Jemima was considered a "Mammy" character, as a racist stereotype Rutt sold his company to a larger milling company, RT Davis Milling Co., after not selling the flour. The mill company brought their mix to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and hired Nancy Green, a former slave who worked as a judge's cook to act as Aunt Jemima and sell the pancake flour. "It started a really long tradition that women were Aunt Jemima in public appearances," said Maurice M. Manrin g, author of "Slave in a Box: Aunt Jemima's strange career". "Aunt Jemima became a national brand advertising at a national level." Manring added that the fame of the Aunt Jemima brand coincided with the explosion of advertising during the First World War. The brand created an entire background story for Aunt Jemima, who gave her a fictional family and created fictional events about her life. However, there is no evidence Patricia A. Turner, a professor of African American studies at the University of California at Los Angeles and author, said that Nancy Green was part of the profits of the company that sold the pancake mix. Green would continue to work as a housekeeper and died in 1923 after being hit by a car. In Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in 20th Century America, author Micki McElya wrote that very few people outside of Green's close friends and community members in the Olivet Baptist Church were aware of their role as Aunt Jemima. The brand would replace Green as Aunt Jemima with several different women, including Anna Harrington. In 2014, Harrington's descendants sued Quaker Oats and its parent company PepsiC o, Green and Harrington were exploited and asked to share in the company's profits because they contributed to the development of the brand. Quaker Oats' decision to withdraw Aunt Jemima's comes after weeks of protests, justice for George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed by the police in Minneapolis, and national outrage over the treatment of black Americans in the United States on Wednesday, Quaker Oats conceded to the AP that Aunt Jemima's origins were based on a racist stereotype.
CLAIM: All California voters, if you are registered as an independent, will no longer be able to vote a Republican from 2020. You have to go online and switch to Republicans. California has changed the rules and hopes that no one will find out in time.
THE FACTS: The information contained in the post does not apply to the general election this fall. During the California March 3 presidential election, independent voters, also known as non-party voters, were able to vote in the Democratic presidential primary without changing their party affiliation, but not in the Republican primary. A post that was in circulation at the time of the area code is now being re-circulated to give the impression that California's independent voters can only vote for Republicans in the general election if they change their party affiliation with Republicans. "California voters please read," says a June 6 Facebook post that contains a text post that spreads the wrong information about independent voters. The post had more than 5,000 shares. The California Secretary of State's office confirmed to the AP that independent voters were only prohibited from voting Republicans in the presidential election. During the general election in November, they can vote for one candidate of each party. The Democratic Party, American Independent Party and Libertarian Party informed the Secretary of State's office that they would allow California voters without party preference to vote for their party's presidential election in the March 3 presidential election. More than 5.4 million Californians are listed as voters with no party preference. In February, The Associated Press reported that non-party voters in California who vote in the mail could request a crossover ballot to vote for Democrats or re-register as a Republican to vote in the Republican presidential election. The GOP and national party leaders set the rules for the republican president that prohibit the participation of non-party voters.
CLAIM: The video shows Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage making derogatory comments about the British people, including the fact that it is racist and should be ashamed.
THE FACTS: Farage's comments in a YouTube video have been edited to misrepresent his statements. In the full video, Farage actually criticized the media for reporting. On Thursday, a Twitter user released a non-contextual clip in which Farage described the British as "terrible", "racist". A review of the video shows that Farage described the so-called "narrative" of the British, which the media have published. A Twitter user tweeted about the misleading clip on June 18: "Wow, that was not easy to admit. Well done, @Nigel_Farage." In the edited clip, Farage says: "We are terrible, terrible, backward, ankle-pulling racist people , and we should be deeply ashamed. "The tweet with the non-contextual clip had over 8,000 retweets and almost 1 million views. In the full version of the video, Farage said," Whenever I turn on the BBC, it could be channel 4, it could Be sky, it doesn't matter, we are completely bombarded by a story that is somehow horrible and terrible, backward, ankle-dragging racist people and we should be deeply ashamed ... This message, this story comes constantly from the mainstream media. June, Farage uploaded the video to YouTube and then shared it on Twitter, saying, "That's why no one trusts the mainstream media. Check out my latest YouTube uploa d on. “Since the murder of George Floyd by the police, a 46-year-old black man who died after a white Minneapolis policeman stuck his knee in the neck for a few minutes, protests against Black Lives Matter in the US and spread in countries around the world. including the UK. In June, Farage made comments comparing Black Lives Matter protesters to the Taliban for having torn down statues of slave traders. The same week, London-based radio station LBC announced that it would no longer broadcast Farage's evening show on weekdays. "Nigel Farage's contract with LBC is about to expire and after discussions with him, Nigel will resign from LBC with immediate effect," the company said on June 11.
CLAIM: Side-by-side photos show that CNN brightened the skin of the gunman who drove a car to a Seattle protest to make it look white.
THE FACTS: CNN didn't change the skin tone of the gunman who went to a George Floyd protest in Seattle on June 7 and shot one person. One of the photos used in the image has been manipulated to lighten the gunman's skin and a CNN logo has been added. Posts posted online incorrectly suggest that CNN was caught treating an image of a Seattle armed man to lighten his skin tone. The image produced shows side-by-side photos: one from the Seattle Times that shows the actual event and one that has been modified to lighten the gunman's skin and add the CNN logo. The photo was shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit. “CNN brightened the photo of the man who drove in the demonstrators last night in Seattle. They said it was white ... see the real photo. Ok ... do you understand that they are all upset with LIES? Said an Instagram post with the picture that had more than 7,000 likes. The Seattle Times video of the protest on Capitol Hill in Seattle shows the gunman driving against demonstrators, hitting a barricade and then getting out of his car with a gun. In a June 8 story about the incident, CNN contained no photos or videos of the gunman. CNN confirmed to the AP that the logo added to the photo was not in CNN's style. CNN's Senior Director of Communications, Bridget Leininger, emailed the AP that the photo appears to have been tampered with. The modified photo was posted on social media shortly after the shooter protested the June 7 protest. On June 8, 4Chan users uploaded the image side by side with the CNN logo, which reads: "White Supremacist shoots demonstrators." "CNN has no good tricks again," it said on the poster. The manipulated photo has been widely shared in pro-Trump and conservative Facebook groups and sites, where it has received over 50,000 interactions.
CLAIM: The photo shows residents of the occupied protest zone in Seattle planting their new official flag with a pink unicorn and the acronym "CHAZ" in a crowded trash can.
THE FACTS: Wrong. This photo, which had over 18,000 views on Facebook and appeared on message boards like 4chan, has been manipulated to make viewers think it was recently taken in Seattle. The flag has been edited to show a pink unicorn design and the acronym "CHAZ". The flag design is not visible on the original photo, which was first published in 2017. The photo shows people dressed in black, holding up the mast of a flag and planting it in a garbage can that is overflowing with coffee cups and water bottles. It looks like a strange tribute to a famous photo by AP's Joe Rosenthal from the Battle of Iwo Jima that made it popular for use in memes with the phrase "Emo Jima". It is unclear where the original photo was taken. In Seattle, the part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood where demonstrators have been gathering for more than a week was originally known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). The area is now commonly referred to as Capitol Hill Organized Protest or CHOP. According to the mayor's office, protest organizers have worked with the city of Seattle to reshape the area so that it continues to congregate while promoting public security. There is no evidence that demonstrators have named or hoisted an official flag in CHOP.
CLAIM: The video shows protesters throwing projectiles at a Brooklyn police car on Sunday evening June 14.
THE FACTS: The New York Sergeants Benevolent Association, a police union that represents sergeants in the New York City Police Department, claims a video released on Sunday was recorded. In fact, a Twitter user posted the video for the first time two weeks earlier, on May 30th. The 36-second video, which had more than 503,000 views before early Monday, showed how a trash can was dropped on a police car and the glass broke the rear window. It continued with people throwing various other objects on the car until the driver reversed and drove down an adjacent street. “NYC - Community Policing Dividend Pays Off! This was Flatbush Ave Brooklyn tonight, ”the Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted next to the video on Sunday. But Twitter users quickly realized that something was wrong. "This police union report is lying," tweeted Noah Hurowitz, a local reporter who later covered the protests in New York on Sunday evening. "This video was apparently filmed on May 30, one block away from Flatbush than the now infamous video of two NYPD SUVs driving through a crowd of demonstrators in St. Marks and Flatbush." A search in old tweets shows that Twitter user @ Nick74004212 actually tweeted the same 36-second video on May 30, the night two police cruisers in Brooklyn hit protesters and knocked several people to the ground. Robert Mladinich, a retired NYPD detective and union spokesman, said he could not confirm how the video was released, but had checked it. He told The Associated Press that the SBA would correct the record if the tweet was wrong but the tweet was still active on Friday.
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CLAIM: A Abraham Lincoln memorial was recently set on fire in Chicago.
THE FACTS: A news article published in June incorrectly indicates that an Abraham Lincoln statue was burned in Chicago during protests that turned violent in the city. The incident happened in 2017, not recently. Facebook and Instagram users share an article that incorrectly indicates that a bust of former President Abraham Lincoln was set on fire in Chicago last week. Time has not always been good for the bust since it was first erected on August 31, 1926. It was spray painted, stolen, chipped off and finally set on fire in August 2017 on a street corner in Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood. But reports that it was lit during the recent Chicago protests are wrong. The Lincoln bust is doing well at its new location at the Chicago Public Library's West Englewood branch, where it was relocated after its restoration in 2018, Chicago City Councilor Raymond Lopez told the AP on Monday. "Abraham Lincoln is well preserved in my community," said Lopez. "It is good and perfect in its location." Lopez has posted on Facebook about the statue burned in August 2017, and the false reports that Lincoln was burned again refer to this old post. The misleading article about the Lincoln statue was written and published days after protests, some of which became violent and resulted in property damage in Chicago over George Floyd's death. "An absolutely disgraceful act: Abraham Lincoln Monument set on fire in Chicago," says the headline of the article. The article was also shared on Instagram. Abraham Lincoln, also known as The Great Emancipator, signed the Emancipation Declaration on January 1, 1863, and freed the slaves when the United States fell into civil war. That doesn't interest the left, ”says the Instagram post.
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This is part of The Associated Press's ongoing effort to review misinformation that is widely available online, including working with Facebook to identify and reduce the spread of false stories on the platform.
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