A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:
Not real: The Pentagon Invites ISIS To America As “White Helmets”
The facts: A report circulating online that claims the Pentagon is inviting Islamic State group militants disguised as White Helmets rescue volunteers to the United States is false. The White Helmets are not Islamic State group militants, and they are not being invited to the United States. The NWO Report website, which says it focuses on conspiracy news, made the false claim in the headline of a story that discussed plans to evacuate White Helmets volunteers from war-torn Syria. The Israeli military last weekend rescued 98 White Helmets volunteers and their families, over 420 people, from a southern section of the country as government forces seized the area. The operation was conceived by Britain, Germany and Canada and supported by Israel, Jordan, the United States and the U.N. The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, have been working in war-ravaged parts of Syria since the civil war began in 2013. The group says their 3,000 volunteers have saved more than 115,000 lives in five years. The group made the shortlist for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. A Netflix documentary about the White Helmets won an Oscar for best documentary (short subject) last year. Navy Cdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, said the White Helmets were allowed into Jordan on a “transitory basis, until UNHCR completes procedures for their resettlement in follow-on countries.” According to the State Department, those countries are Canada, Britain and Germany. “The United States is not currently resettling any members of the White Helmets,” a State Department spokesperson told The Associated Press in an email. The email commended the countries that will be providing “permanent homes for these heroes.” Syria and Russia have called the White Helmets everything from a propaganda group to terrorists. They claim the White Helmets’ rescue videos are staged. NWO did not respond to a request by email for comment.
Not real: Molson is gifting free 24 pack of Canadian Beer to Everyone to Celebrate 200th Year of Quality Taste!
The facts: Molson Coors Brewing Company says it is not giving out free cases of beer, despite a coupon offer circulating online. The false offer asks users to fill out a survey to win a free 24-pack of beer. When users complete the survey, they are congratulated, told they have won a 24-pack of beer and then asked to share the link on Facebook and type “Thanks for my beer.” Jessica Teixeira, a Molson Coors spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that the website “is absolutely not genuine, nor is it run or endorsed by Molson Coors.” A variety of similar fake offers have been circulating online, including ones for free tickets on Delta Air Lines, and coupons for purchases at Dollar General stores.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.