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In February 2022, an image went viral that supposedly showed a social media message from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which he encouraged Canadians who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 to stop talking to their unvaccinated relatives.
This was not a genuine message from Trudeau:
This message was posted in the days following a protest against COVID-19 vaccination requirements in Canada. Trudeau has commented on this protest, but he did not post the above-displayed message.
The doctored message reads: “Please help do your part to make this stop. If you have family or friends that still haven’t been vaccinated, do not allow these to family dinners, do not speak to them on the phone, do not reply to their texts. You need to do everything you can to make life difficult for them until they comply.”
This message does not appear on Trudeau’s Twitter or Facebook pages. We also searched archived versions of these pages and found no trace of this message. Additionally, we have yet to see anyone share a link to the original message. This post, it appears, exists purely in screenshot form.
A representative for the Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Reuters: “This is not our post.”
Here is a genuine message from Trudeau in response to the protest:
This is not the first bit of misinformation to circulate in the wake of the “freedom convoy” protest in Canada. We previously addressed rumors about the convoy’s size, a number of miscaptioned videos that supposedly showed global support for the convoy, and an edited clip that purported to show “The Simpsons” had predicted the protest.
“Facebook Post Falsely Attributed to Canadian Prime Minister.” AP NEWS, 2 Feb. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/fact-checking-955941374482.
“Fact Check-Canadian Prime Minister Did Not Publish Message Encouraging the Social Rejection of Unvaccinated People.” Reuters, 1 Feb. 2022. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-canada-prime-minister-message-idUSL1N2UC1ZZ.
“Freedom Convoy: Trudeau Calls Trucker Protest an ‘Insult to Truth.’” BBC News, 31 Jan. 2022. www.bbc.com, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60202050.
Staff, Shannon Larson Globe, et al. “What’s Going on across the Border? The Canadian Trucker Protests, Explained. – The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.Com, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/02/02/world/whats-going-across-border-canadian-trucker-protests-explained/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2022.