Watch CBS News

Fake news: A look at completely untrue headlines this week

2/2/18: CBSN Evening News
2/2/18: CBSN Evening News 52:06

Don't believe everything you read, especially when it comes to outrageous headlines on social media. The Associated Press rounded up some popular but completely untrue headlines that made the rounds over the past week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. Here are the real facts:


FAKE HEADLINE: White House: GOP Train crash was 'Deep State' assassination attempt

THE FACTS: The White House issued no statement about GOP lawmakers supposedly being targeted for assassination after Wednesday's collision between a train carrying dozens of lawmakers to a party retreat and a truck. National Transportation Safety Board officials say the crash appears to be an accident and have interviewed witnesses who said safety arms near the rural Virginia site weren't working a day earlier. The crash spawned dozens of false reports that the GOP was targeted by faulty traffic control systems and a cyberattack, some of which were promoted on Facebook and YouTube despite steps the sites say they've taken to combat the spread of fake news. The Daily Beast reported that posts featured in Facebook's "People Are Saying" section included a variety of bogus claims that "Commie-Lib-Dim 'resisters,'" jihadists, or Hillary Clinton staged the crash.


FAKE HEADLINE: NFL lawyer who claimed Super Bowl is 'rigged' is found dead

THE FACTS: There's no truth to the story about an entertainment lawyer named Dan Goodes, his claims the Super Bowl was rigged and a report he was found shot to death in a car in New York. The NFL has no lawyer by that name, and New York's medical examiner's office had no record of anyone by that name dying in the city. The league's spokesman said of the report, "We don't comment on ridiculous fake news."


FAKE HEADLINE: FBI: Antifa planning Super Bowl 'terrorist attack'

THE FACTS: FBI officials in Minneapolis said repeatedly this week there have been no credible threats to this Sunday's Super Bowl. Several outlets reported threats and planned attacks by members of anarchist groups after a banner was unfurled at a press event this week. Some community groups plan a march before Sunday's game to protest corporate greed and racism, and the Minneapolis chapter of Black Lives Matter plans rallies to demand renters' rights and living wages. CBS Minnesota reports a high-tech security command center for Super Bowl LII is up and running and that months of planning has gone into measures to keep fans safe.


FAKE HEADLINE: Pedophile priest with HIV who raped 30 children, found crucified outside church

THE FACTS: A report that a priest was found dead outside his church in Oaxaca, Mexico, after the church exonerated him in the assaults of young girls, went viral in recent weeks. The story was published by a conspiracy site known for false accounts. The church says it has no record of the priest by that name or such an incident at the archdiocese.


FAKE HEADLINE: Pluto has been officially reclassified as a planet!

THE FACTS: Recent reports that an astronomers' association had reclassified Pluto as a planet were April Fools' Day hoaxes that recirculated on social media over the past week. The International Astronomical Union revoked Pluto's planetary status in 2006, calling it a "dwarf planet," after determining that it was not clearing the neighborhood around its orbit, like a planet should.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.