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ACROSS AMERICA How many times have you facepalmed over this claim or that one on social media? You dont have to give yourself a headache.
A number of reputable fact-checking sites separate fact from fiction to stop the spread of misinformation on internet platforms, which provide new avenues and levels of connectivity but are also easily exploited, according to researchers.
The spread of misinformation on the internet is so pervasive that the World Economic Forum listed it as one of the primary threats to society.
With the 2022 midterm elections approaching, the threat is increasing, according to the World Economic Forum, which brings together representatives of governments, businesses and nonprofits to help shape global, regional and industry agendas.
The truth is out there. Below are several fact-checking sites to help you find it:
Some sites, including VerifyThis.com, allow truth seekers to submit a claim to be substantiated or debunked. We consulted these sites to sort out a few things you may have read or heard recently:
The claim: President Joe Biden said in an interview with 60 Minutes Sunday the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The president did say this, but the assertion is false, according to FactCheck. The World Health Organization said earlier this month the pandemics end is in sight with the development of of vaccines, but the administration doesnt plan to rescind the public health emergency that expires on Oct.13 unless its renewed, as it has been nine times since January 2020.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra defended Bidens off-the-cuff statement as reflective of what so many Americans are thinking and feeling, but epidemiologists told FactCheck the proclamation was premature.
Among them is David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who said its important to acknowledge a new phase of the battle against COVID-19 as hospitalizations and deaths remain stable. But, he noted, there is still some uncertainty about what will happen in the coming winter.
We can debate when the pandemic phase is over, but we know that COVID-19 is not over, Dowdy said.
The claim: The omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shot is not safe for people under 50.
Thats false, according to SciCheck. The truth squad there said the claim circulating on social media originated with an announcement by the Danish Health Authority that it was prioritizing high-risk individuals and those over 50 with its omicron-specific booster.
In the United States, misinformation peddlers, including conservative talk show host Clay Travis, falsely claimed in a Facebook video Denmark had deemed the vaccine unsafe, which Danish health authorities said was a misinterpretation.
The claim: Mike Tyson, who famously bit off and spit out a piece of is opponents ear in a 1997 boxing match in Las Vegas, cant sell ear-shaped cannabis edibles in Colorado.
Thats true, according to Verify. Tysons ear-shaped edibles have shown up in dispensaries in a handful of other states where marijuana is legal, but a 2016 Colorado law prohibits the sale of human-shaped edibles, including ears and other body parts, according to Verify.
The claim: The 16th century French astrologer Nostradamus accurately predicted Queen Elizabeth IIs death.
Thats false, according to PolitiFact. A Sept. 15 video claiming Nostradamus had predicted the queens death within a day was flagged as part of Facebooks efforts to keep false news and misinformation off its users News Feed. Partnering with the social media platform, PolitiFact said a review of the English translation of Les Prophites, a collection of Nostradamus prophecies, didnt turn up a single reference to a queen. Rather, the prediction came from another authors interpretation of Nostradamus predictions.
The claim: Putting your luggage in the hotel bathtub the moment you check in will reduce the risk bedbugs will hitch a ride home with you
Thats true, according to Snopes. While the chances of taking bedbugs home from a hotel are small, it does happen, and theyre expensive to get rid of once theyve taken up residence.
People repelled by the idea of putting their suitcase in a place where other people have bathed can solve the problem by bringing along a large trash bag, laying it in the tub and placing the suitcase on top of it.
Its also a good idea to inspect the bedding, mattress, box spring and frame for bedbugs. Most hotels recommend that luggage be placed on luggage racks, but not on the floor or bed.
Posted Tue, Sep 20, 2022 at 7:58 pm ET|Updated Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 11:25 am ET
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