NO: The crops in this video are not being burned to create a food shortage. NO: The farming equipment in this video does not belong to the government. YES: This is an authentic video of a “prescribed burn,” a common farming practice in which old crops are burned to create healthy soil for a new batch of crops.
NewsLit takeaway: Presenting genuine photos or videos in false contexts is one of the most common tactics used to spread misinformation online. False claims work to frame the way people view and interpret a piece of content. Though there’s nothing in this video to indicate that this piece of equipment belongs to the government or that this fire was set to create a food shortage, the false claim makes this fact harder to recognize in the moment.
This video also plays into a baseless but longstanding conspiratorial narrative that the government is working to purposefully create a food shortage to control the population. Other viral rumors pushing this same conspiracy theory have gone viral recently, including this montage that was debunked by PolitiFact.
NO: South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham did not say “is it REALLY a good thing for more people to have life-saving medication? I thought liberals said we’re overpopulated.” YES: This is a satirical quote that originated with an influential commentary account on Twitter. YES: A $35 cap on insulin from private insurers was removed from the Inflation Reduction Act because the provision was not compliant with the chamber’s budget rules. YES: Forty-three Republican senators, including Graham, voted to remove the provision.
NewsLit takeaway: It can be easy to miss the signs of misinformation in the heat of the moment. If you are outraged about an issue, you may be more susceptible to believe claims that play into that anger. Remember to pause, reflect and examine the media on your feed, especially when it contains emotionally charged content, in order to make better judgments about its contents. Just because this may “feel” like something Graham would say, it doesn’t mean that he said it.
This satirical quote originated with an influential commentary account run by a former assistant U.S. attorney named Ken White. While this account often provides commentary on genuine news stories, it also shares memes and humorous items. The fictitious quote misattributed to Graham was originally presented without any indications that it was satirical. It wasn’t until many people were fooled by this quote that the account posted a follow-up message to clarify that this was not a genuine quote from Graham.