On May 8, 2023, a tweet went viral claiming that a Florida judge had banned the Bible in the state, largely due to mentions of murder, rape, genocide, and incest featured in the Old Testament.
The tweet stated, "BREAKING: A Florida judge has ruled that the Bible must be banned along with other books Ron DeSantis has banned because of how much murder, incest, rape, genocide, and violence is featured in the Old Testament."
But the tweet, which was posted by Halfway Post, is a work of satire, and is not reflective of actual events. It originated from a Twitter account that describes itself as "Halfway true comedy and satire" by comedian Dash MacIntyre, who wrote in the bio, "I don't report the facts, I improve them."
The post is poking fun at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had signed into law a number of bills that expand the state's ability to restrict books, including one that enables parents to object to education materials taught in schools.
In April 2022, a Florida activist even submitted a tongue-in-cheek petition to school districts in Florida, asking them to ban the Bible. Chaz Stevens asked school superintendents to "immediately remove the Bible from the classroom, library, and any instructional material [...] [and] also seek the banishment of any book that references the Bible."
He questioned whether the Bible was age-appropriate for children, pointing out references to rape, orgies, murder, adultery, bestiality, infanticide, and more.
"Do we really want to teach our youth about drunken orgies?" he wrote.
Stevens told NPR that the petitions were a way of pointing out the hypocrisy in such legislation. "If you want to teach morality and ethics, do you really want to turn to a book that wants you to dash babies against rocks?" he said.
Given that the tweet originated from an account that describes itself as satirical, we rate this claim as "Labeled Satire."