Check out what’s not happening this week

A summary of some of the week’s most popular but completely untrue stories and images. Although widely shared on social media, none of this is legal. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:


Misrepresented temperature graph to deny climate change

CLAIM: A chart from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing land and ocean temperatures over the past eight years shows that the Earth is not warming but cooling, proving that global warming from carbon emissions is a hoax.

FACTS: Only a small portion of the chart showing the period 2015 and 2022 has been taken out of context to make false claims. The larger graph, in which it is isolated, shows temperature trends over 140 years and shows a dramatic upward trend. Social media users misrepresented the graph to support the erroneous claim that global temperatures are falling rather than rising, meaning that global warming is “a hoax.” The chart shared online appears to show a slight downward trend, with a note saying that the overall temperature dropped by 0.11 degrees Celsius over the period 2015-2022. “The 8-year temperature time series shows annual global average surface temperatures for the past eight years,” said Jeffrey Hicke, a professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Idaho. “Accurate as shown, but misleading.” This is because this small period is heavily influenced by natural El Niño and La Niña cycles, experts say, although the last eight years have shown a slight downward trend. Focusing on this period alone does not discredit the general upward trend in global temperatures over the past century. The full NOAA chart showing temperature trends from 1880 to 2022 shows a dramatic increase in global average temperatures. In the full context of the chart, Hicke said it is “much more appropriate for assessing the impact of human activities on the climate.” Despite climate warming, it is also subject to natural variability as it is affected by weather events such as El Niños and La Niñas, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information said in a statement. El Niños bring unusually warm temperatures across the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, while La Niñas bring unusually cold temperatures. During El Niños, global temperatures tend to be warmer than in years when La Niñas is present. NOAA said in a statement that 2015-2016 experienced a strong El Niño, which helped push global temperatures to record highs. But since then, about three La Niñas have helped cool global temperatures a bit. “The time frame chosen from 2016-2022 can create a cooling trend view,” the agency said, “so we use timelines of at least 10 years when calculating trends.” John Knox, a professor who studies weather and climate dynamics in the University of Georgia’s Department of Geography, said the claim in the tweet is “a classic example of carefully choosing the endpoints of a time series to prove a wrong point. “This is a very short period of time, which reduces the statistical significance of a trend’s claims,” ​​he wrote in an email, adding, “The rising temperature trend over the decades is evident.”

— Sophia Tulp of the Associated Press in New York contributed to this report.


Harvard medical school class isn’t all about ‘trans babies’

CLAIM: A class at Harvard Medical School is training students to treat transgender babies.

FACTS: The course is a month-long elective course on healthcare for LGBTQ patients. The class’s professor told the Associated Press that only one day focused on babies and did not cover their gender identity or sexual orientation. In recent days, conservative websites and online commentators have skewed the content of the classroom as it was pointed out by social media users as an extreme example of gender-affirming healthcare. “Harvard teaches medical students about transgender babies,” wrote a Twitter user whose post received nearly 10,000 likes on Tuesday. But these claims misrepresent what the class actually teaches about babies. The lecturer, Dr. According to Alex Keuroghlian, the course “Caring for Patients of Different Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities, and Sexual Development” teaches the physical development of babies born exclusively intersex. The term intersex describes people who are born with reproductive organs, hormones, or other characteristics that do not fit the typical definition of male or female. The medical and research affairs coordinator of the intersex advocacy group InterConnect, Dr. Arlene Baratz explained that these conditions may or may not be noticed at birth. A transgender person is someone whose gender identity – whether they feel like a girl, a boy, both or neither – is different from the gender assigned to them at birth. The term transgender is not synonymous with intersex. Parents and families of intersex children “have questions about the health implications of these physical variations,” Keuroghlian told the AP. “Medical students need to know how to provide this care.” As part of the course, students also learn how to care for non-infant patients and focus on disciplines such as psychiatry, endocrinology, dermatology and infectious disease. Physical differences in an intersex baby’s genitals “can be obvious in the newborn and often trigger a range of medical interventions, including an assessment to discover the underlying cause,” Baratz said in an email. Sean Saifa Wall, co-founder of the Intersex Justice Project, said that a baby’s physical gender characteristics emerge long before they realize what the gender is or what gender they like. He said conservative critics “deliberately combined” the two. Older children who experience gender dysphoria (feelings of distress about their assigned gender) may seek transitional health services to address these feelings when they reach puberty. But despite some misleading rhetoric, small children or babies are not given surgeries and hormones for this purpose.


CNN didn’t run the story linking Damar Hamlin’s collapse to the vaccine

CLAIM: Image shows CNN running a headline on January 11 with the headline “Vessel Hamlin Doctor Confirms Cardiac Arrest Is Caused by 4th Booster Vaccine”.

FACTS: A CNN spokesperson confirmed that the screenshot was manipulated to add a fake caption. The real headline was about the Buffalo Bills security being released from a hospital. Social media posts circulate the manipulated image amid unsupported claims that Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was caused by a COVID-19 vaccine. “Vein Hamlin Physician confirms Cardiac Arrest is due to 4th Booster Vaccine.” The image shows a story that aired on January 11 at 1:37 p.m. Eastern time. Other social media posts without the image similarly claim that CNN reported such information. But a search of CNN’s website shows that the screenshot was manipulated to change the headline of a different story. The actual headline, published by the same reporters at the time, using the same photo of Hamlin, was: “Damar Hamlin has been discharged from hospital after more than a week of cardiac arrest.” CNN spokesperson Emily Kuhn also confirmed in an email to the Associated Press that the screenshot was fabricated and that CNN did not publish the headline. Social media users had previously shared a screenshot of a tweet from a suspicious account, in which someone claimed to be a doctor and claimed that the Bills player had received a COVID-19 booster on December 26, days before he passed out in a game on January 2. in Cincinnati. This account is no longer active and there is no evidence that the person was a doctor for Hamlin. A Buffalo doctor who leads Bills and Hamlin’s care team announced his discharge from a Buffalo hospital on January 11, but did not release the results of tests to determine the cause of his heart stopping. The NFL player’s collapse has re-energized a flawed narrative that vaccines have caused a dramatic increase in cardiac problems among young athletes. Cardiologists told the AP there were examples of athletes experiencing sudden cardiac death and cardiac arrest long before the COVID-19 outbreak, and they did not observe the dramatic increase claimed on social media.

— Associated Press writer Angelo Fichera in Philadelphia contributed to this report.


The video in which the Austrian reporter collapsed on the ground is from before the epidemic

CLAIM: The video shows the Austrian news anchor passed out on live television due to side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

FACTS: The video, featuring Austrian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Rosa Lyon, was filmed on September 24, 2019, long before the pandemic began and COVID-19 vaccines were invented. Social media users have been tying the 2019 clip of Lyon’s collapse to the vaccine for months, and the claim has resurfaced online this week. In the dramatic footage, the reporter sitting behind a desk for the program “Zeit im Bild” suddenly falls backwards. “THEY FALL LIKE Flies,” wrote an Instagram user who posted the video on Tuesday. One user commented at the bottom of the post that the video showed a reaction caused by “VAIDS”, short for vaccine-induced immunodeficiency syndrome. VAIDS is not a real condition, and COVID-19 vaccines do not cause a syndrome that fits this description, the Associated Press previously reported. Lyon’s clip was also featured in the anti-vaccine film “Died Suddenly.” The movie, which premiered in November, features several debunked vaccine claims, as well as videos of people crashing with no connection to the vaccine. Michael Krause, spokesman for the Austrian Broadcasting Company, confirmed in an email to the AP that the incident occurred in September 2019. “There is absolutely no connection with Corona,” he wrote.


Old video of Russian plane in flames circulating after Nepal crash

CLAIM: A video shows a passenger plane crashing in Pokhara, Nepal on Sunday, killing all 72 people on board.

FACTS: The video was recorded in 2021 and was shot in Russia, not Nepal. However, social media users posted claiming that Yeti Airlines showed flight 691 that crashed on Sunday just before landing in Nepal’s tourist city of Pokhara after a 27-minute journey from Kathmandu. The video, which went widely in both English and Spanish, showed an airplane flying over a forested landscape, then catching fire and passing behind a white tower before crashing into the trees below. “Plane crash in Nepal, how hard it is to survive,” he said in a tweet along with the video. However, reverse image search shows that a prototype military transport aircraft conducting a test flight outside of Moscow crashed in 2021. Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation told Tass news agency that the plane crashed in a wooded area as it was about to land at Kubinka airport, 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Moscow, killing all three crew members on board. An August 2021 AP report on this accident includes screenshots from the video and states that the video was provided by Dmitry Ovchinnikov. The recent crash of the much larger twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft in Nepal was the country’s deadliest air disaster in 30 years. It is still unclear what caused the accident.

— Associated Press writer Abril Mulato in Mexico City contributed to this report with additional news from Ali Swenson of New York.


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