“Smart!” That’s what President Trump wrote on his Facebook page, linking to a fake story by a Middle Eastern blogging site.
The headline on the story reads: “Kuwait Issues Its Own Trump-esque Visa Ban for Muslim-Majority Countries.” But there’s a problem. It’s not true!
Kuwait, through one of its official news agencies, “categorically denied the false report” last Friday, and multiple governments have also denied it. It’s the kind of story that the ‘so called’ president might decry as “fake news,” were it not beneficial to him.
The Facebook post went up on Trump’s official page last Thursday. It gained more attention from fact-checkers over the weekend.
There is no evidence of any effort to block those travelers. To the contrary, Pakistani news outlets have reported that it is untrue, citing local embassy officials, CNN reported.
Despite being proven untrue, the link is still on Trump’s page, gaining “likes” and comments on Facebook. It has not attracted the attention of Facebook’s recent effort to flag disputed stories with a warning label.
Some websites scrambled to correct the record. One of the Russian government’s news sites, Sputnik News, initially jumped on the rumor but later added a correction: “The following news article proved to be untrue.”
On Facebook, the president’s post has received over 250,000 reactions, most of them in the form of “likes” from his followers. A couple hundred people posted tearful emojis as their reaction.
As of Tuesday morning, over 70,000 people have shared the post, spreading it through their personal social networks.
The post has over 14,000 comments. Most were positive at first, but now many users are writing “fake news” on the post.