World

John McAfee did not tweet before his death that he stored files in the Florida building that later collapsed

False claim: Posts shared on social media claim that technology entrepreneur and antivirus software pioneer John McAfee, found dead on June 23 in his prison cell in Spain, posted earlier this month on his Twitter account that he owned an apartment in the condo building that collapsed last week near Miami Beach and that he hid files there. “If anything ever happens to me, please know that the 31TB of files I have are located on hard drives in my condo near 88th Street and Collins Avenue just north of Miami Beach,” McAfee reportedly tweeted on June 8.

Truth:

  • The screenshot of the alleged June 8 tweet was doctored. There is no record of that tweet on McAfee's verified Twitter account.
  • The false claim appears to have been based on a June 2019 tweet in which McAfee claims to have 31 terabytes of "incriminating data" about government corruption and threatens to release it if he was ever arrested.
  • According to AP, there is no evidence that McAfee or his wife, Janice, ever owned an apartment in the collapsed building.
  • Arrested in Spain in October 2020 at the request of U.S. authorities, McAfee was awaiting extradition to the U.S. on tax evasion charges.
  • According to Spanish authorities and McAfee's lawyer, Javier Villalba, the software mogul committed suicide.

USA

Airlines are not banning vaccinated people from traveling after pilots die due to Covid vaccine

False Claim: Posts shared on Facebook claim that airlines are banning vaccinated people from traveling after four British Airways pilots allegedly died due to the Covid-19 vaccine in one week.

Truth:

  • In a post on its official Twitter account on June 17, British Airways dismissed that the pilots' deaths had any link to the Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Contrary to what the social media posts claim, the employees also did not die within a one-week interval.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement that it is not aware of any airlines banning vaccinated passengers or considering it.
  • “We advocate that people who have been vaccinated should be free to travel without restriction,” the association told PolitiFact.

USA

Americans do not pay a percentage of their taxes to the Queen of England

False claim: Posts shared on Instagram claim that American taxpayers pay a percentage of their taxes to the Queen of England and that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not an agency of the Federal government, but rather an agency linked to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Truth:

  • According to its website, the IRS is an agency of the Treasury Department, which is part of the U.S. Federal government, and therefore has no connection to the IMF.
  • To Reuters, Terry L. Lemons, communications and liaison chief at the IRS, said that the claim shared on social media that a percentage of taxes paid by Americans go to the Queen of England is false.

Belgium/France

The Rockefeller Foundation had not “predicted” the COVID-19 pandemic in a report published in 2010

False claim: Posts shared on Facebook claim that The Rockefeller Foundation “predicted” the COVID-19 pandemic in a report published in 2010.

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Truth:

  • The Rockefeller Foundation published a report in 2010 proposing a reflection on how technology would affect barriers to building resilience and equitable growth in the developing world over the next 15 to 20 years. Several situations are imagined in the document, including cyberattacks and a global pandemic.
  • In the paper, the authors make it clear that the scenarios presented “are not predictions.” “Rather, they are thoughtful hypotheses that allow us to imagine, and then to rehearse, different strategies for how to be more prepared for the future.”

Brazil

It is false that Oxford University concluded that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19

Fake claim: Posts shared on Facebook and Instagram claim that the University of Oxford has claimed that ivermectin –a broad spectrum antiparasitic drug– reduces the replication of coronavirus.

Truth:

  • The information shared on social media is false. On June 23, the University of Oxford announced that it would start a clinical trial to test whether ivermectin works in the treatment of COVID-19.
  • The drug was added to the Platform Randomised Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses (PRINCIPLE), which concluded last January that the antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline are not effective treatments against COVID-19.
  • According to the University of Oxford, the inclusion of ivermectin to PRINCIPLE comes after in vitro studies showed that the drug reduced the replication of Sars-CoV-2. The institution, however, points out that “there is little evidence from large-scale randomised controlled trials to demonstrate that it can speed up recovery from the illness or reduce hospital admission.”

Colombia

Slovakia did not ban communist parties or declare them terrorist organizations

False claim: Posts shared on Facebook and Twitter claim that Slovakia “banned communist parties” and declared them “terrorist organizations.” To back up the claim, many of the posts refer to a law passed in the country on November 4, 2020.

Truth:

  • The law cited in the publications is actually an amendment to law 125/1996, which declares “immoral,” “illegal,” and “reprehensible” the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which ruled the country from 1948 to 1989.
  • Both the 1996 law and the 2020 amendment, however, do not establish any ban on the existence of communist parties in the country or classify these organizations as terrorists.
  • The Communist Party of Slovakia appears on the list of officially registered political parties and movements on the website of the Slovak Ministry of Interior, having been registered on March 19, 1991.