Fake News Friday: A look at what didn’t happen this week

In this Jan. 21, 2017, file photo, Madonna performs during the Women's March on Washington. On Dec. 7, 2018, The Associated Press found that stories circulating on the internet that she intends to vote for President Donald Trump in 2020, are untrue. | Associated Press photo by Jose Luis Magana, St. George News

(AP) — The following is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online and work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

This brief roundup offers some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media.

NOT REAL: Madonna told Fox News: “I heavily regret my vote against Trump … and I will vote for Trump in 2020.”

THE FACTS: Madonna, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, has not changed her politics, as stated in a social media post being shared.

Luke Burland, Madonna’s publicist, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the post is “completely not true,” adding that Madonna “never did an interview with Fox.” The post, which consists of her picture alongside a quote said to be from a Sept. 5, 2018, Fox News interview, surfaced again recently after circulating on social media in September.

Madonna has been an outspoken critic of Trump and opposed his candidacy. In 2016, she posted an Instagram story of a Trump piñata for her son’s birthday. She also posted a picture that year of Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric during a hunting trip with the caption, “One more reason to vote for Hillary!”

NOT REAL: Video shows French firefighters turning their backs and walking out on French President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony.

THE FACTS: Macron was not at the event where firefighters were captured on video turning their backs on officials on Saturday, Dec. 1, but the video is real. Social media users began sharing the video with the false claim after grassroots demonstrations in France turned violent last weekend. The protests began as a response to Macron’s plan to increase the fuel tax.

Sebastien Delavoux, secretary general of the local fire and rescue union, told The Associated Press that firefighters turned their backs toward their employers because they were angry that their yearslong concerns about staffing issues had not been addressed.

NOT REAL: A social media post states: “If you need to call 911 but are scared to because of someone in the room, dial and ask for a pepperoni pizza. They will ask if you know you’re calling 911. Say yes, and continue pretending you’re making an order.You can ask how long it will take for the pizza to get to you, and they will tell you how far away a patrol unit is. Share this to save a life!!!”

THE FACTS: Dispatchers are not trained to interpret a takeout pizza order as a covert way of seeking emergency assistance. The claim has circulated on social media for several years.

Christopher Carver, dispatch center operations director for the National Emergency Number Association, told The Associated Press in a statement that asking for a “pizza in emergency situations is not standard practice or procedure.”

Carver said a dispatcher would not hang up upon hearing a pizza order, they would ask more questions to determine what is going on. But, he said, there is no single nationwide rule regarding what to do if someone calls ordering pizza. “Setting any expectations of secret phrases that will work with any 911 center is potentially very dangerous,” he said.

Carver suggested that if someone is unable to speak on the phone a better option would be to text 911.

NOT REAL: Video shows French citizens chanting “We want Trump!” during recent protests.

THE FACTS: Social media users are misrepresenting the video, falsely claiming it was taken during recent protests in France. The video actually shows people at a demonstration in London chanting for President Donald Trump.

The video was taken June 9, 2018, during a rally held in support of Tommy Robinson, a right-wing activist who was jailed for contempt of court in England. In the video, a demonstrator wearing a Trump mask can be seen on top of a blue sightseeing bus trying to rally the crowd by chanting, “We want Trump!”

Posts saying the video was taken during a French demonstration began circulating widely on social media after protests in France turned violent the weekend of Dec. 1.

Find all AP Fact Checks here.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Carpe Diem December 8, 2018 at 8:42 am

    If you call 911 and ask for a pizza or any kind of random thing, the cops are coming even if you tell them not to, even if you explain your kid dialed or it was an accident.

  • Carpe Diem December 8, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Madonna threatened she wanted to blow up the White House – live, on stage – TRUE
    Madonna moved out of the Country – TRUE
    Madonna lost the fight with the HOA to have the right to have her family / staff live in her multi million home while fleeing Trump in Europe – TRUE

  • Mike P December 8, 2018 at 11:44 am


    • Kilroywashere December 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      Her ex Boyfriend Dennis Rodman does. Then there’s ex hubby Sean Penn who got in trouble for beating her up back in the 80s… Could go on. Honestly I never liked her music, and the fake news about her was probably a publicity stunt,

  • Redbud December 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Madonna is as fake as CNN!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.