US authorities warn of fake forest fire news

In several states in the west of the US, authorities have been fighting fake news about the forest fires raging there. In social media posts, groups from both the extreme left and the extreme right are accused of arson.

One of the incorrect messages was shared about 10,000 times on Twitter, fact checkers at PolitiFact saw. The fake news is also circulating on Facebook. Authorities have asked the platform to tackle the misleading posts. Facebook claims to have intervened when fact checkers identified the false messages.

Antifa and Proud Boys

Some misleading posts report that six left-wing Antifa activists have been arrested for arson, while others say that members of the extreme right-wing Proud Boys have been arrested. The FBI claims to have investigated several allegations and that they are not true.

Local police forces also have their hands full answering questions about the false rumours. Police in Jackson County say they are “buried in questions about fake messages”.

In the western states of the USA, there are numerous major natural fires. In the state of Oregon, half a million inhabitants have been ordered to seek refuge. That is about 10% of the total population of that state. The governor of the state has said that dozens of people are missing.