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Hoax Alert

Fake News: California NOT Considering Tax On Breathing

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 18 Dec 2018 15:18:19 Z)

Is California considering a tax on breathing? No, that's not true: the headline originated from a Christian themed satire website, not from a real news site. It is not true.

The story originated from an article published by The Babylon Bee on December 17, 2018 titled "California Considering Tax On Breathing" (archived here) which opened:

SACRAMENTO, CA--The California legislature unveiled plans last week for a new tax on the privilege of breathing.

The "Check Your Oxygen Privilege Act" will be voted on later this week. If passed into law, Californians will pay a progressive tax on inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, with wealthier residents paying as much as 40% of their income for every breath they take. The poorest tax bracket may receive a subsidy for their breaths under the new model.

Screenshot of https://babylonbee.com/news/california-considering-tax-on-breathing

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so to some people it may have looked like real news (after all, it is California we are talking about):

California Considering Tax On Breathing

SACRAMENTO, CA--The California legislature unveiled plans last week for a new tax on the privilege of breathing.The "Check Your Oxygen Privilege Act" will be voted on later this week. If passed into law, Californians will pay a progressive tax on inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, with wealthier residents paying as much as 40% of their ...

Just to be sure we checked the website of the California legislature and there is no such bill on the table:

Bill Search

And of course "The Babylon Bee" comes with following dislaimer on every page:

The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.

We wrote about babylonbee.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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
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