Snopes' fact checks always contain two elements: a concisely stated "claim" and a one- or two-word rating that objectively measures that assertion's veracity based on evidence we gathered from interviews, documents, data, or other credible sources.
But some rumors or trends that pop up on our newsroom's radar do not have a singular answer, or rating, at their core. Rather, they may contain numerous allegations with a ranging level of factualness; be part of a broader problem in our media ecosystem, or require reporting that best fits the format of a traditional news story — not a fact check.
[See here for an explanation of how we determine fact checks' ratings.]
In other words, we have two methods for doing fact-based, explanatory journalism: fact checks and news stories.
Let us note here: A couple of the below-listed news stories — such as the No. 1 post that unpacks the criminal history of George Floyd and the No. 2 post about the people Kyle Rittenhouse shot in Kenosha — were published by Snopes' reporters before 2021. That meant that readers throughout the year were searching for, or stumbling across, the pre-2021 investigations and sharing them with others, thus raising their popularity to surpass that of more recent news stories.
[See also: 2021 Greatest Hits: Investigations From Snopes]
The question of past arrests often surfaces among people who want to rationalize police officers' actions when Black men are killed in custody.
Fans of the teenager launched an online campaign to smear the reputations of his victims.
The founders of the jam company can trace their business roots back to a small village in France.
Whether you call it a joke, prank, troll campaign or a hoax, there is no "National Rape Day" that provides legal immunity for sexual assault.
Anti-vaccine activists are promoting a veterinarian's claim that the only way to prevent a future COVID-19 vaccination-related calamity is through a product he claims to have invented.
The answer to all of your questions is "no."
The North American almanac has predicted weather for 230 years.
"It's more scary with the lights on," read the TikTok comment with the most likes.
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