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Not real news: Taking a look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said if your 8-year-old child wants to be transgender to make life easier, “they have a right to transition and there is no reason for you to deny it.”

The facts

Social media users are altering comments made by Biden during an Oct. 15 town hall to falsely suggest he supports sex changing medical procedures for young children. Biden said transgender children should not experience discrimination, but he did not say they “have a right to transition.”

At the town hall, Pennsylvania voter Mieke Haeck asked Biden how he would reverse actions by the Trump administration that had negatively affected LGBTQ people, including her 8-year-old transgender daughter. Biden responded, “I will flat out just change the law. Every – eliminate those executive orders, No. 1.” He added, “The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘You know I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier.’ There should be zero discrimination.”

Social media users shared an edited quote distorting his words to say: “If your 8-year-old child says they want to be transgender to make life easier ... they have a right to transition and there is no reason for you to deny it.” A transcript of the town hall shows Biden never mentioned transitioning or sex changing medical procedures in his response.

Biden has outlined a series of policy goals related to the LGBTQ community on his website. Among them, he pledges to protect LGBTQ youths from civil rights violations and harassment in schools. He has also said he would reverse a ban on transgender people serving in the military introduced under President Donald Trump. Biden’s website does not discuss sex changing medical procedures for children.


Photo shows rappers Ice Cube and 50 Cent wearing hats that show support for President Donald Trump.

The facts

The photo was altered to add a “Trump 2020” message to the hats. The manipulated photo circulated widely on social media with the president’s son, Eric Trump, tweeting it with a message that said, “Two great, courageous Americans.” He removed the tweet after being called out by Ice Cube on Twitter.

In the original photo, both rappers are wearing baseball caps with sports logos. Ice Cube wears a hat that says “Big 3” and 50 Cent wears one with the New York Yankees logo. Ice Cube shared the original photo on his Twitter account on July 6 to send a birthday message to 50 Cent.

Ice Cube has come under fire for appearing to work with the Trump administration on his “Contract with Black Americans.” The entertainer said in an interview with CNN that both the Trump campaign and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign reached out to him about his contract.

“One campaign said, ‘We love what you have but let’s really dig into it after the election,’ and one campaign said, ‘We love what you have, do you mind talking to us about it?’ and that’s what I did,” he said. “The Trump campaign came to me and asked me to explain to them some of the Contract with Black America.”

Ice Cube clarified that he has not endorsed either campaign.

“Whoever is in power I am going to work with,” he said on CNN. On Monday, 50 Cent took to Instagram to say “Vote for Trump.”


At a Miley Cyrus concert in 1993, the pop singer told a 9-year-old girl that anything was possible as long as you believed in God. The little girl said she believed in God and was going to become famous one day by stopping Obamacare and making it illegal to kill babies. That little girl grew up to be Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated to a Supreme Court seat.

The facts

A Facebook post sharing this claim spins a folktale that is both baseless and logistically implausible. A 27-year-old pop singer did not inspire a lawyer more than 20 years her senior to become a judge. Cyrus was born in 1992 and was only 1 year old in 1993. Barrett, a 48-year-old judge, began her legal career in the late 1990s, when Cyrus was still a child. Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, was not enacted until 2010, when President Barack Obama was in office. In 1993, Obama was not a well-known name, nor was his nationwide health care plan in consideration.

President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to the Supreme Court after the death of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September. Senators are scheduled to vote on her confirmation by Monday, according to reporting by the AP. Cyrus supported Trump’s opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, she has criticized Trump, calling him racist, sexist and hateful in a Vanity Fair interview last year.