A viral meme falsely attributes a quote from a neo-Nazi to the French philosopher Voltaire. It was shared by Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie on Jan. 30. Let’s take a look at the facts.
NewsLit takeaway: Fake quotes are notoriously common online and warrant correcting even if they seem benign. But, as Dan Evon at Snopes points out, this case also highlights a toxic disinformation tactic: An attempt to launder “discredited ideas and hateful rhetoric” through a more trustworthy source to make them more acceptable and likely to spread online.
- “Neo-Nazi, not Voltaire, originated quote about 'who rules over you'” (Bill McCarthy, PolitiFact).
- “Fact check: Quote tweeted by GOP congressman came from neo-Nazi convicted for child porn, not Voltaire” (Daniel Dale, CNN).
- “US congressman shares neo-Nazi’s quote wrongly attributed to Voltaire” (Sophia Tulp, The Associated Press).
- “Rep. Massie Misattributes Neo-Nazi Quote to Voltaire” (Dan Evon, Snopes).
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