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Here’s The Truth Behind That VapoRub Story Spreading On Social Media

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you may have seen a story with this headline: “Mom applies a remedy to her baby, moments later he dies. Be careful with this, moms!” The story claims that a two-year-old Mexican child died after the child’s mother applied too much Vicks VapoRub.

The story first appeared around mid-November and quickly spread on Facebook, with parents warning their friends about the dangers of VapoRub.

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However, all evidence indicates that the story did not actually happen. Here’s why: No major news organization has actually reported on it.

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CREDIT: REMEDY YARD

The only websites covering “VapoGate” engage in tabloid style reporting, using junk science to back up the claims of their sensational headlines. The image above is from one of the websites reporting on the Vicks VapoRub death. As you can see, they have another story about how Vicks VapoRub can be used to get rid of cellulite. If it did, you can bet Vicks would have cashed in on that claim already.

The baby in the story’s photo is a stock image.

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CREDIT: FACEBOOK

Like many fake news stories, the image provided for the story is supposed to add credibility to the headline. However, the image of this child is actually a stock photo that anyone can use for their own story.

Need more proof? The image has been used before in other stories.

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CREDIT: GOOGLE

As you can see, the image has been used in stories about how to get a baby to sleep through the night. There is no mention of Vicks.

Most of the websites covering this story just copied and pasted the words from another source.

CREDIT: PROCTER AND GAMBLE SOUTH AFRICA

A Google search revealed that many of the websites reporting on this story just copied and pasted the bulk of it from whatever source they found. The story doesn’t offer any fact based details, including the woman’s name, referring to her as the “Mexican mother.” The lack of fact checking should be a tip off. Not to mention that the most reliable reporting on this story came from Snopes, the debunking website, which says they found NO PROOF that the story actually occurred at all.

Vicks VapoRub does have side effects that parents should know about.

Like any over-the-counter drug, VapoRub must be used correctly, otherwise problems could occur. VapoRub has been shown to increase mucus production, in ferrets. Eating VapoRub can lead to serious health problems, and it should not be placed on broken skin because the body can absorb toxic levels of camphor. Adult VapoRub should not be applied to babies under 2 years of age, but there is an unmedicated version specially made for babies. Most important, always be sure to follow directions when using medication.

One thing we can agree on: if you’re sick and need a cure, you can always depend on your abuela.

Every abuelitas nightmare.

Posted by We are mitú on Friday, November 18, 2016

READ: If Vicks VapoRub Could Talk To Us, Here’s What It Would Say

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The FBI Is Investigating the ‘Trump Train’ Group With Ties to QAnon That Brigaded Biden’s Campaign Bus

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The FBI Is Investigating the ‘Trump Train’ Group With Ties to QAnon That Brigaded Biden’s Campaign Bus

Photo: Getty Images/Scott Olson

Investigative reporters found that the caravan of Trump supporters who blocked Joe Biden’s campaign bus in Texas have ties to QAnon conspiracy theory activity online. The fact-finding website Snopes discovered that the caravan was organized in a Facebook group called “Alamo City Trump Trains,” a group that is “littered with activity” tied to QAnon

According to Snopes, the “Alamo City Trump Trains” Facebook group is comprised of people who post pro-Trump memes and content. The pro-Trump group apparently has many members that frequently post QAnon references and lingo. QAnon flags and merchandise can also be spotted at the group’s events and in their YouTube videos.

The group organized the brigade through posts hash-tagged with #OperationBlockTheBus. Hundreds of the group’s members interacting with the posts, commenting and “liking” them.

As background, a group of Trump-supporters in trucks brigaded Joe Biden’s campaign bus on October 20th while it was on the Interstate 35 in Texas. Video shows trucks decked out in Pro-Trump flags and blocking-in and tailgating the Biden bus as well as the white SUV that was accompanying the bus.

At one point, the SUV attempted to change lanes to remain behind the campaign bus but a Trump truck prevented it from doing so. The footage shows the two cars colliding in a minor fender-bender as the truck blocks the SUV from changing lanes. According to Snopes, extended footage of the accident was even posted inside the private Facebook group. Snopes also reported that the incident is being investigated by the FBI.

The stand-off is notable because it shows the complete lack of civility our country has descended into on the eve of this historic election. Political division are no longer relegated to family arguments and Facebook rants, but have transformed into real-world violence.

QAnon is a dangerous far-right conspiracy theory that alleges that left-leaning politicians and celebrities are actually Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex-trafficking ring. Believers are convinced that Trump is fighting against this evil cabal. The claims, needless to say, are completely false, but that hasn’t stopped some Trump supporters from spreading the harmful and inflammatory misinformation online.

And while young people are not immune from falling for these dangerous conspiracy theories, it is older generations who are more likely to believe in them. A recent study conducted by Princeton University found that people aged 65 years and older are seven times more likely to share fake news and misinformation on social media than those aged 18-29. Experts chalk it up to “digital media literacy”–millennials and Gen Z-ers have grown up on the internet, and have thus fine-tuned their radar that separates fact from fiction. Older generations are not as savvy.

Already, both Facebook and Twitter have attempted to reign in the harm of QAnon conspiracy theories, banning mentions of QAnon theories from their platforms. The social media giants have said that they believe the messages could lead to potential real-world violence.

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Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Disinformation Campaign Aimed At Florida’s Latino Voters

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Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Disinformation Campaign Aimed At Florida’s Latino Voters

H2Woah! / Flickr

A disturbing disinformation campaign is taking place in Florida and it is targeting the Cuban-American community. The racist insert in The Miami Herald recently brought a spotlight to the wide reaching disinformation campaign made to convince Cuban-Americans to stay loyal to the Republican Party.

Politicians are growing concerned about the increasingly aggressive disinformation campaign in southern Florida.

From Whatsapp clips to Facebook groups, there has been an aggressive and seemingly success disinformation campaign aimed at Cuban and Cuban-Americans in southern Florida. QAnon and conspiracies are mainstays in Spanish-language YouTube channels and other social media sites. The ads claim things as extreme as President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were secretly selling uranium to Russia.

The campaign to mislead Latino voters in one of the larget swing states is causing alarm.

“People see the videos and the disinformation so many times that it gets to them. They feel they can’t trust the media, and that’s the most worrisome part,” Democratic strategist Evelyn Pérez-Vedía told NBC News. “Now they call Spanish-language media fake news.”

Politicians are calling for an investigation into the disinformation campaign to end it.

Representatives Joaquin Castro and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell are calling on the FBI to launch a formal investigation. The disinformation is aiming to move Latino voters to President Trump. A recent influx of Puerto Ricans who fled natural disasters has put the Republican hold on the Florida Latino vote in jeopardy.

Rep. Murcasel-Powell is sounding the alarm that the disinformation situation in Florida is akin to the Russian influence of the past.

“As we rapidly approach election day, Latino circles in South Florida have witnessed a surge in posts containing false or misleading information on social media…While disinformation on social media is, itself, problematic, even more concerning is the fact that disinformation originating on social media is now shaping and pervading more traditional media outlets in South Florida,” reads a letter from Reps. Castro and Mucarsel-Powell “As the FBI works to secure our elections, we urge you to keep the Latino community in mind and consider efforts of foreign actors to spread disinformation and sow doubt in our election systems among Latinos, especially in South Florida.”

It’s a reminder that it is important to be critical of what you see in social media.

It is always very important to double check your sources and do your research. Don’t just believe everything you see on social media, even if it is something that your friends and family are sharing and talking about. It is also important to keep those you love accountable and let them know when they are sharing things that just aren’t true.

READ: Florida Republican Representative Shows Off Cuban Man He Claims Is His Stepson

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