Social media posts falsely claim that former President Barack Obama signed a bill that made it permissible for “the media” to get “away with lying.” The bill had no bearing on private media outlets or what they can report.
A piece of legislation signed into law under the Obama administration didn’t give license to “the media” to get “away with lying,” contrary to what social media posts on Facebook and Twitter claim.
“Have you ever wondered how the media gets away with lying? It’s because on 12/29/2012, Barack Obama signed the NDAA bill. (HR 4310 / Sec 1078),” the posts read. “This authorized the use of propaganda within America – which had been illegal since 1948.”
Obama signed H.R. 4310, or the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, in January 2013, but nothing in that bill applies to what private media organizations in the U.S. are allowed, or not allowed, to report or publish. That independence is enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In May 2018, three Democratic senators wrote to the Ukrainian prosecutor general, asking about a news report that he had frozen four Ukrainian investigations involving Paul Manafort to avoid angering President Donald Trump. Republicans have called the letter a “threat” to withhold support for aid to Ukraine, saying it’s similar to what critics have charged Trump did.
There’s no explicit “threat” to take any actions in the letter. Whether there’s an implied threat involving U.S. support of Ukraine is a matter of opinion, but politicians have gone too far in claiming the Democratic letter is “the same kind of stuff they’re accusing Trump of,” in the words of Sen. Rand Paul.
Julián Castro wrongly Joe Biden was wrong Tom Steyer claimed Steyer and Andrew Yang both exaggerated Bernie Sanders wrongly claimed
A popular Instagram post falsely claims “over 1,100 people died from reactions to the [flu]shot” in 2018, and suggests that the immunization gave some children polio. The flu vaccine cannot give anyone polio and there is no evidence to support the 1,100 figure.
Just as flu season is kicking into gear in the U.S., an Instagram post is spreading false and misleading information about flu shots.
Baseless Claim about Flu Vaccine ‘Deaths’
To start, contrary to the post’s intimations, flu shots have a good safety record. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains, the most likely side effects are mild, and include soreness or redness at the injection site, headache, fever and nausea.
A more concerning side effect is a serious allergic reaction, which could lead to anaphylaxis, and ultimately death. But such reactions are rare.
An analysis of CDC data from 2009 through 2011 identified just 33 instances of vaccine-triggered anaphylaxis after more than 25 million vaccine doses, or around 1.3 cases per million doses. Of these cases, only one person was hospitalized and no one died. When broken down by vaccine type, the anaphylaxis rates were similar for flu shots — around 1-2 cases per million shots.