Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Bill Nye Did NOT Tweet About Copper, Nitrogen, Terbium and Silver

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:22:37 Z)

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Did Bill Nye (aka The Science Guy) send out a tweet with the text "Are you made of copper, nitrogen, terbium and silver? Because you're a CuNTbAG"? No, the screenshot of that tweet seems to have been manipulated, it is a fake image.

We saw the page "Memes" on Facebook publish an image claimin just that on April 17, 2018 (archived here):

Screenshot of https://www.facebook.com/memes/posts/2742963569054546

While the chemical symbols for copper (Cu), nitrogen (N), terbium (Tb) and silver (Ag) do indeed spell out "CuNTbAg" if you put them together we found no evidence of Bill Nye having made such a tweet. A search for the relevant part of the tweet combined with Bill Nye's verified Twitter account name returns no results.

It is immediately suspicious that the screenshot of the tweet lacks a date/time or the counter for retweets/likes/comments. This leads us to strongly suspect the image was manipulated.

We found one Twitter account that sent out the quote a few hours ago:

We also found a reference to a (now deleted, non-cached) 2015 tweet from Bill Nye parody twitter account @bill_nye_tho.


The joke itself has been going around for years as confirmed by a quick Google search.


: A mere nine hours after Lead Stories the story was also debunked by Snopes:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

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