Questionable reports of Trump-fueled violence proliferate on social media

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from FoxNews,

As if the 2016 climate couldn’t get any more divisive, false or questionable reports of violence linked to Donald Trump’s victory have gained steady traction on social media since last week – complicating efforts to distinguish fact from fiction amid very real political unrest.

In one case, a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette claimed that two white men – one wearing a Trump hat – jumped out of a sedan, attacked her, and stole her hijab and her wallet. The unnamed woman also said the men knocked her to the ground and screamed racial slurs at her.

News of the attack quickly spread on social media, and soon some national media outlets including CNN began reporting it. The attack also was quickly condemned by the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The problem is: the incident was fabricated.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t make sense,” Lafayette police spokesman Karl Ratcliff told The Acadiana Advocate. Ratcliff said the student ultimately confessed to making up the entire story after police pressed her for details.

Another report of questionable origin making the rounds involves a supposed surge in transgender teen suicides tied to the election. Claims that Trump’s victory triggered at least 10 suicides surfaced Wednesday when some started posting Facebook updates saying the information came from private support groups for parents with transgender children.

The stat was given a global spotlight after Guardian writer and Out magazine editor-at-large Zach Stafford tweeted that “at least 8 trans youth have committed suicide in the wake of Trump’s win.” He went on to report 10 teens took their lives.

Stafford later admitted he had no evidence to back up claims that any transgender teens had killed themselves because of Trump.

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