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Fake News and the Celebrities Who Promote It

So many followers, so few fact-checks. :(

by Claire Downs

Most of us have been a victim of fake news at some point in the last few years. But, it’s how we deal with fake news that matters. Hopefully, you either check your sources, Snopes, or just wait for more information before sharing an article. If you’re like everyone’s conspiracy theory-loving, email-chain-forwarding uncle, you probably don’t. If you’re a celebrity, you’ve definitely got no business (or time) sharing bogus stories when you could just post a selfie and get thousands of likes!

When famous people post fake news, it’s dangerous to their brand and credibility but also, more important, it’s dangerous for our larger, celebrity-obsessed society. Impressionable fans and followers willing to believe every tweet from their favorite stars may take action on phony stories in the vein of PizzaGate. So, before you go RT-ing that bizarre theory that a gorgeous Insta-model just posted, just know that celebs can be victims of news fakery too.

Amy Schumer Shares Fake Donald Trump Quote


First of all the interview where I said I would move was in London and was said in jest. Not that anyone needs more than a headline to count something as official news. Anyone saying pack your bags is just as disgusting as anyone who voted for this racist homophobic openly disrespectful woman abuser. Like the rest of us I am grieving today. My heart is in a million pieces. My heart breaks for my niece and my friends who are pregnant bringing children into the world right now. Like everyone else I am horrified that people believed these bumper sticker slogans filled with hate he spewed. People who voted for him you are weak. You are not just misinformed. You didn't even attempt information. You say lock her up and you know something about the word email but what was in the emails? You have no clue. Well I'll tell you if you were able to read this far through the holes in your sheet. They said nothing incriminating. Nothing. She dedicated her entire life to public service and got our children Heath care and education without discrimination. he didn't pay his workers. Started a fake college. Ripped people off. Never paid his taxes and sexually assaulted women and on and on She would have taken care of us. I personally would have had to pay higher taxes. All the celebrities backing her would have. People asked how much I was paid to stand with her. Nothing. None of us were paid a dollar. We would have had to pay a lot more because we are fortunate enough to make a high income. But we all wanted to do it to take care of the people in need. She was fighting to take care of you kicking and screaming babies. Yelling about emails you know nothing about and not liking her clothes or her hair she wanted to protect you even you. Well you've gotten what you asked for and now you can watch the sky open up. Literally. I am furious. I cry for her and for all the smart people I love who know what's right and I cry for you people who fell for shiny hats and reality catch phrases. She would have protected you. Today we grieve tomorrow we begin again. Yes this quote is fake but it doesn't matter

A photo posted by @amyschumer on

This quote from Donald Trump surfaced last year, only to be debunked in July. But, as emotions swelled on the day after the election, Amy Schumer took to Instagram to share this meme anyway. Her caption, possibly written after she posted it, mentions that “yes, this quote is fake but it doesn’t matter.” To Amy’s 5.5 million followers, it should matter.

Jim Carrey’s Anti-Vaxxing Propaganda

It’s no secret that there’s a pocket of Hollywood stars who just won’t vaccinate their kids, despite overwhelming evidence that doing so can save lives. Jenna Elfman, Juliette Lewis, and Jenny McCarthy are all in the club. Besides tweeting his own opinions about the chemicals in vaccinations, Carrey has done his fair share of spreading articles about the perceived “dangers” of inoculation. Carrey even tweeted a photo of an autistic boy to provide some form of evidence, until the mother of that boy asked that the photo be removed.

Charlie Sheen Implies Obama is From Kenya

Besides identifying as a 9/11 truther, Charlie Sheen does not seem to believe that President Obama is from the United States. In 2015, Sheen criticized Obama in his usually weird poem-tweet structure by referring to him as “Kenya.” While Charlie didn’t go so far as to create an video for this theory—as he did about 9/11—this Tweet plays upon the completely untrue Birther theory that made Trump famous.

Tila Tequila and B.O.B. Believe the Earth Is Flat

In the early months of 2016, Tila Tequila and rapper B.O.B. restarted the centuries-old argument settled by numerous philosophers and explorers about the shape of our Earth. Both Tequila and B.O.B., engaged in separate multi-day Twitter rants to try and get their followers on board with the idea that the Earth has an edge. Luckily, in B.O.B.’s case, Neil deGrasse Tyson chimed in to offer some fact-based insight.

Roseanne Barr, In General

Roseanne is never one to back down from her strong opinions, but 2016 signaled a shift in her Twitter feed. The comic delights her 317K followers daily with numerous uncited and unsourced articles, too many to count. Many of them come from conspiracy theory sites and unverified blogs. Barr is also an avid Trump supporter and even claims she was the person who told the President-elect to run in the first place.

When Kylie Jenner Is a Chemtrail Truther

In 2015, Kylie Jenner tweeted this stock photo with some rambling text about Chemtrails and the “dying off” of “Honey Bee’s.” If you’re not familiar with the Chemtrails conspiracy (or “ctrails,” as she referred to them in a later tweet), it’s the idea that commercial airplanes spray chemicals to poison and suppress the masses. Fortunately, these trails are just water vapor, and this theory has been debunked many, many times.

Another ctrail truther? Alyssa Milano.


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Claire Downs is a writer and comedian based out of Los Angeles. She's written for Nickelodeon, VH1, Funny or Die, and Hello Giggles. You can follow her on Twitter @clairecdowns. She prefers Indica to Sativa, in case you're wondering.



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