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Facebook post falsely attributed to Canadian prime minister

February 2, 2022 GMT
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media during his first availability after announcing he has COVID-19 at a location in the National Capital Region, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Social media users are sharing a fabricated Facebook post and falsely attributing it to Trudeau. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media during his first availability after announcing he has COVID-19 at a location in the National Capital Region, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Social media users are sharing a fabricated Facebook post and falsely attributing it to Trudeau. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media during his first availability after announcing he has COVID-19 at a location in the National Capital Region, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Social media users are sharing a fabricated Facebook post and falsely attributing it to Trudeau. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media during his first availability after announcing he has COVID-19 at a location in the National Capital Region, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Social media users are sharing a fabricated Facebook post and falsely attributing it to Trudeau. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media during his first availability after announcing he has COVID-19 at a location in the National Capital Region, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Social media users are sharing a fabricated Facebook post and falsely attributing it to Trudeau. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

CLAIM: An image shows a Facebook post by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying that people should avoid texting and talking on the phone with unvaccinated friends and family and “do everything you can to make life difficult for them until they comply.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The post was fabricated. The message does not appear on Trudeau’s social media accounts, and his office confirmed to The Associated Press that it is not real.

THE FACTS: A manipulated image made to look like a post from the verified Facebook account of Canada’s prime minister is circulating widely across social media after a convoy of truckers descended on the country’s capital to protest vaccine requirements.

The three-paragraph post says the convoy “needs to stop” because it is “dividing Canada” and goes on to say, “Everyone knows I am the Prime-Minister that is about unity and inclusion.”

“Please help do your part to make this stop,” the fabricated post continues. “If you have family or friends that still haven’t been vaccinated, do not allow them to family dinners, do not speak to them on the phone, do not reply to their texts. You need to do everything you can to make life difficult for them until they comply.”

The final paragraph of the post highlights Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s move to require vaccines at big-box stores in the province, and tells people to do their part.

The post racked up thousands of retweets on Twitter, with users claiming Trudeau posted and later deleted it. But it doesn’t represent any real post from Trudeau, his office confirmed to the AP on Wednesday.

An AP review of Trudeau’s social media accounts, including his verified Facebook account, found no evidence of a post matching the image. There’s also no evidence of any posts encouraging people to avoid texting or calling unvaccinated friends or family.

The post’s language also didn’t match the style of other posts from Trudeau. For example, the post purports to show Trudeau labeling himself as a “Prime-Minister” but his office does not include the hyphen in its communications.

Trudeau has shared multiple legitimate responses to the trucker convoy on his social media accounts, including a post acknowledging the pandemic is frustrating while condemning “the behavior displayed by some people protesting in our nation’s capital.”

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.