Fact Checks

Facebook Post Makes Baseless Claim About Bill Gates’ Family Ties
A Facebook post makes the baseless claim that Bill Gates’ mother was related to Ghislaine Maxwell, an associate of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The post also shows an image of a young man who is misidentified as Gates.

US far from reaching herd immunity for COVID-19
A Facebook post shared thousands of times claims the United States has reached herd immunity for COVID-19. But experts say this is false, and that the country is far from the point where enough people have the immunity necessary to curb the disease’s spread.

US presidents can spend tax dollars with executive orders
Following US President Donald Trump’s executive actions extending financial relief to Americans hit by the coronavirus pandemic, a post shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter claims US presidents cannot spend taxpayer dollars with executive orders. This is misleading; while Trump’s use of power is unique in this case, executive orders often involve moving, re-allocating or spending public funds, experts say.

No, this photo was taken in the Chinese city of Tianjin in August 2015
A photo of a massive crater has been shared thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts that claim it was taken at the site of an explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut in August 2020. The claim is false; the photo shows the aftermath of an explosion in the Chinese city of Tianjin in August 2015.

Canadian children with COVID-19 symptoms can quarantine with a parent or guardian
Facebook posts shared thousands of times in Canada claim that parliament has passed a law that would allow the government to quarantine a child who showed COVID-19 symptoms at school separately from a parent. This is false; Canada’s legislature has not passed any such law during the pandemic, and an expert said such legislation, federal or provincial, would easily be struck down as unconstitutional in the courts.

No tourists have been allowed to visit New Zealand since March 2020 -- this photo has circulated online since 2016
An image has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts in August 2020 which claim it shows “Chinese tourists allowed to go out of the Auckland bubble”. The posts were shared after New Zealand's government reimposed a coronavirus lockdown on the city of Auckland after it recorded the country’s first local transmissions of COVID-19 in more than 100 days. The claim in the posts is false; the image has circulated online in news reports since at least 2016; New Zealand health officials said no tourists have been allowed into the country since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.