In June 2016 a rumor appeared on Facebook asserting that President Obama was giving all food stamp recipients a cash bonus of $1,000 per month for three months, often accompanied by a single screenshot purportedly evidencing the claims:
While the rumor included some minor variations (some versions asserted recipients would get smaller amounts totaling $1,000 over three months, others said a one-time $1,000 payment), it was fairly static and widely taken as truth across Facebook. Posts discussing the rumor often included screenshots of text or Facebook conversations as proof of the supposed food stamp windfall, but they all involved individuals simply repeating (not confirming) the rumor:
The rumor was so prolific it even led to complaints that military members weren't going to be provided any special benefits akin to the purported food stamp bonus:
When pressed for details, commenters occasionally claimed that President Obama had "signed a bill" providing the $1,000 food stamp benefit, although early versions of the rumor were localized to Louisiana. We contacted Louisiana's Department of Children and Family Services to determine whether there was any truth to the claim that President Obama (or anyone else) was giving recipients of food stamps an extra $1,000 per month for three months (or any variation on that claim). The representative with whom we spoke was aware of the rumor but stated that the Department had no knowledge of any such program or how the rumor came to spread, and that no changes had recently been made to SNAP procedures in Louisiana. Additionally, no news accounts anywhere reported on any such development advanced by President Obama (or anyone else) and no rumor-spreaders themselves credibly claimed they had received such a benefit.