Fact Checks

No, this photo does not show Chinese billionaire Jack Ma as a child
A photo has been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim it shows Chinese billionaire Jack Ma as a child. This claim is false; the image has circulated in Chinese media reports since 2016 about an eight-year-old boy from east China’s Jiangxi Province who is unrelated to Ma.

This video shows a Seoul rally in October 2019, months before Covid-19 was first reported in South Korea
A video of a large protest has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter in August 2020 alongside a claim it shows a rally against coronavirus restrictions in the South Korean capital of Seoul. The claim is false; the video was first published online in October 2019, nearly four months before the first case of Covid-19 was reported in South Korea in January 2020.

Photo of protesters fleeing Hong Kong by boat? This image has circulated in a Chinese report about police seizing illegal motorboats
An image has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts which claim it shows Chinese police officers arresting a group of Hongkongers on a boat after they attempted to flee to Taiwan. The photo has been shared in a misleading context; it has circulated in reports about Chinese police seizing motorboats which were allegedly being operated without licenses.

California Bill Doesn’t Make Pedophilia ‘Legal’
Contrary to QAnon-fueled claims that a California bill would legalize pedophilia, the bill would actually standardize the rules about who is required to be on the state’s sex offender registry.

California bill does not decriminalize pedophilia
Facebook and Instagram posts shared thousands of times make false and misleading claims about California Senate Bill 145 and the ability of courts to keep children safe from sexual predators. The bill does not decriminalize statutory rape; it is intended to end what the bill’s backers say is discrimination against LGBTQ youth in a law governing the state’s sex offender registry.

Pelosi did not say she will quit if Trump wins in November
Social media posts claim that US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will step down if President Donald Trump is reelected in November. This is false; the claim originated on a satirical website and her office said it is not true.

Trump’s Bad Advice for Mail-In Voters
Elections officials and voting experts say President Donald Trump gave bad advice when he encouraged mail-in voters to show up at polling places on Election Day and cast an in-person ballot if poll workers can’t confirm that their mail-in ballot was received.

It is unnecessary, will likely cause long delays at polling places, and could be illegal.

In many states, poll workers will not know whether a mail-in ballot has been received and accepted.

Besides, voters in the vast majority of states can check the status of their mail-in ballot online. Even in states without online tracking systems, voters can call their local elections offices to check their ballot status. (See this spreadsheet for links to state tracking systems.) Also, some states accept and count ballots after Election Day if they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

A voter unsure if their ballot has been received would only be allowed a provisional ballot. Those ballots are counted after the election, and if it is determined that a mail-in vote was received from the same voter, the provisional ballot would be discarded.