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

Fake News: President Trump Did NOT Send Offensive Tweet About Andrew Gillum and Hurricane Dorian

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 03 Sep 2019 14:45:45 Z)

Did President Donald Trump send a tweet implying hurricane Dorian shifted course because of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and that millions would have died if Andrew Gillum had been Governor? No, that's not true: the tweet was put out by a parody account but got widely screenshotted and shared on social media as if it were real.

The story originated from a tweet published by @realdonalbtrump (with "b" instead of "d") on August 31, 2019 (archived here) which read:

"Hurricane Dorian has shifted northward and now may hit the Carolinas. Florida may dodge a bullet. That's what happens when you have a governor like Ron DeSantis. If low IQ Andrew Gillum had won millions would've died. Believe me. #HurricaneDorian #hurricane #carolinas"

Screenshot of https://twitter.com/realdonalbtrump/status/1167781639247814658

This is what the tweet looked like:

However the parody account has a bio that reads:

NOT the real Donald Trump, just PARODY. If you like any of my tweets please follow. If you thought it was really him for a second what does that say about him?

In reality the last tweet Trump sent mentioning Gillum was this one, just after the latter conceded the election for Florida Governor:

When you see a screenshot of a tweet being circulated, always check if it is real first. Go to search.twitter.com and type in (part of) the text of the tweet, perhaps in combination with "from:username" (for example: "from:realdonaldtrump"). And make sure the tweet that is returned in the search result comes from the real account of the person (look for the blue checkmark, check the bio for "parody" or "satire").

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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