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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Economics Degree NOT Recalled

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 02 Apr 2019 21:57:01 Z)

Was the economics degree of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recalled? No, that's not true: the story was put out by a satire website but was believed by several people and at least one website copied it without indicating it came from a humor website.

The story originated from an article published by The Babylon Bee on April 2, 2019 titled "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Economics Degree Recalled" (archived here) which opened:

WASHINGTON, D.C.--After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent a few minutes on Twitter lamenting the price of a croissant at an airport, linking it to the need for a higher minimum wage for some reason, an independent degree quality control board issued an emergency recall on her economics degree.

Basic Economic Understanding Bureau officials burst into the congresswoman's office and confiscated her economics degree early Tuesday morning "for the safety of the nation." They found it hanging on the wall next to a hammer & sickle flag. They tore it down and returned it to Boston University for safekeeping.

Screenshot of https://babylonbee.com/news/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-economics-degree-recalled

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Economics Degree Recalled

WASHINGTON, D.C.--After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent a few minutes on Twitter lamenting the price of a croissant at an airport, linking it to the need for a higher minimum wage for some reason, an independent degree quality control board issued an emergency recall on her economics degree.Basic Economic Understanding Bureau officials burst into the congr ...

There is of course no Basic Economic Understanding Bureau but the tweet about the croissant the story is mocking is real:

But "The Babylon Bee" comes with following dislaimer on every page:

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

That didn't stop at least one website from copying the story without mentioning that it was a joke (archived here):

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Economics Degree Recalled

Via The Babylon Bee WASHINGTON, D.C.-After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent a few minutes on Twitter lamenting the price of a croissant at an airport, linking it to the need for a higher minimum wage for some reason, an independent degree quality control board issued an emergency recall on her economics degree.

And several people in social media comments or tweets seemed to share the story as if it were real:

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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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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