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Fox News did not report that gender-neutral pronouns are a “plot to undermine democracy”

A screenshot of a fabricated Fox News headline calling people who use gender-neutral pronouns a “far-left extremist plot to undermine American democracy” is circulating online. But Fox News never published such a story. Let’s take a look at the facts.

A tweet that reads, “Happy they/them summer to my fellow deoedipianized theys only” and includes a screenshot of what appears to be a Fox News report with the headline “’They/them’ summer: a new far-left extremist plot to undermine American democracy” and the sub-headline “Experts warn that the ‘deoedipianized theys’ are a far greater threat than Islamic terrorists.” The News Literacy Project has added a label that says, “DOCTORED SCREENSHOT.”
Fox News did not publish a news report characterizing people who embrace the gender-neutral pronouns “they/them” as extremists plotting to undermine American democracy.
A doctored screenshot of Fox News coverage is circulating online with a fabricated headline making this claim.

NewsLit takeaway

Altering text on screenshots of news coverage is extremely common online. In this case, the screenshot appears to be a doctored version of this Fox News report (archived here) with a date, time and byline that match up with those in the viral image. Remember that screenshots that aren’t accompanied by links to the original source are always suspect, especially when they include controversial, shocking or outrageous claims.

NLP’s viral rumor rundown is a regular feature in The Sift, its weekly email newsletter for educators, and in Get Smart About News, its weekly email newsletter for the general public. You can subscribe to these newsletters here. Send suggestions, questions or feedback on this rumor or on the viral rumor rundown blog to thesift@newslit.org.