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Following the death of top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 3, a number of unverified and false posts have spread widely on the internet.

The surge of traffic resulting from Soleimani’s death mixed with worries of a potential war caused the U.S. Selective Service’s website to go down. 

The agency tweeted Jan.3: “Due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time.” 

Since the news of Soleimani’s death, we’ve compiled a list of some of the false news that has appeared across social media and the web. 

1. Trump didn’t tweet about the draft 

A fake tweet impersonating President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 3, 2020. (Photo: Facebook)

A screenshot of a tweet from President Donald Trump circulated widely on Facebook and Twitter indicating the start of a draft. 

The tweet is fake. Trump has made no mention of a draft in connection to conflicts with Iran. 

2. Fraudulent texts of U.S. Army request to enter the military draft 

After a U.S. drone strike killed Soleimani, speculation about  a potential war rose. Soon after, images of alleged text messages were shared on the web of what appeared to be official requests from the U.S. Army to enter the draft.

In a tweet Jan. 8, the U.S. Army noted the messages were fraudulent. 

“Fact check: The U.S. Army is NOT contacting anyone regarding the draft. If you are receiving texts, phone calls or direct messages about a military draft, they are not official communications from the U.S. Army”

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3. A doctored photo of President Barack Obama shaking hands with Hassan Rouhani

A photo of former President Barack Obama shaking hands with Hassan Rouhani was tweeted by U.S. Rep, Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., on Jan. 6. 

“The world is a better place without these guys in power,” Gosar wrote. 

The image is a doctored photo from a 2015 ad associated with a super PAC in support of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.. The original image, reported by the New York Times, was taken in 2011 and shows Obama shaking hands with then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Bali. 

4. Outdated images claiming Iranian attacks 

These images spread as some people on Twitter unwittingly shared the dated images, which apparently were originally posted with a Jan. 8 story by Iranian news agency, IRNA. 

An image of the flames from Israeli missiles that struck in Gaza, not Iraq on Nov. 14, 2019. (Photo: Twitter)

This shared photo claimed to capture recent Iranian attacks on Ayn al Assad, an Iraqi Armed Forces and United States armed forces base in Iraq’s Anbar province, but is actually a photo from Nov. 14, cited by a Google reverse search, that captures flames from Israeli missiles that struck in Gaza, not Iraq. 

This image was perceived to be the first of the Sepah ballistic missile launch from Iran. In reality, this image is of smoke trails from ballistic missiles launched by Iran toward Syria on Oct. 1, 2018, according to a Google reverse search. 

5. Resurfaced fake tweet from Rep. Rashida Tlaib 

Early last year, a social media post spread widely claiming Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted on Jan. 4: Americans have spent decades raping and pillaging my people. What goes around comes around. #FridayFeeling.” The tweet was exposed to be a hoax. 

The fake post has since resurfaced in a viral meme including a screenshot of the fake tweet with a social media user stating Tliab is “anti-american” and “should not be in office.” The meme also noted at the bottom: This was her comment on the Protesters Siege of the U.S. Embassy in Iraqi.”

Facebook has since flagged the post as false information. 

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