Fact check: Fake Ben Shapiro tweet about sharing cupcakes as a child is satirical

The claim: Ben Shapiro tweeted that sharing as a kid ‘redpilled’ his political beliefs

A fake tweet circulating on social media appears to show conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro confessing how sharing cupcakes as a child enraged him and inspired his political beliefs. 

“My #redpill moment came about when I turned 7 years old. My mom sent me to school with cupcakes for my birthday and the teacher made me share them with my classmates, even the poor ones whose mothers never sent cupcakes for THEIR birthdays. The rage of that day has never left me,” reads the fake tweet.

The fake tweet appears to have been shared from Shapiro’s Twitter account at 10:22 a.m. March 26. However, this image was satirically altered and Shapiro never wrote that.

Ben Shapiro (Photo: Photo/ Wikimedia Commons)

What is the red pill?

The “red pill” refers to a moment of political awakening that leads an individual to shift away from an accepted set of beliefs to another reality that the taker believes to be more genuine. 

The Anti-Defamation League explains that taking the red pill does not always note a  shift to extremist beliefs, although it can. In recent years “red pill” terminology has been adopted by QAnon followers to describe an individual’s moment of “awakening” in support of the conspiracy theory.

What is QAnon?

The poster says the image was satirical

The Facebook meme page that posted the photo told USA TODAY the post was “intended to be satire” about “talking heads (who) will say nearly anything.”

Several Facebook users commented they were initially unsure if the tweet was real and found it was fake through their own research.

“I know it’s fake,” one wrote. “But I also genuinely know people who think like this.”

“It’s not real, but I had to check,” another commented.

“It’s sad to have to check if this is real,” a Facebook user wrote.

The same fake tweet was shared to a satirical Reddit thread labeled “FAKE NEWS on March 26. 

“THIS POST IS FLAIRED AS ‘FAKE NEWS’. THAT MEANS THE POST IS FAKE AND IS MOST LIKELY SATIRE,” reads a disclosure on the thread. 

Shapiro never wrote the tweet

Shapiro confirmed the tweet was fake in an email to USA TODAY. “Of course that tweet is fake,” he wrote.

An advanced search of Shapiro’s Twitter profile shows no record of the tweet.

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