Fake News: Lead Stories Is NOT The Chinese Government, Did NOT Say Tienanmen Square Massacre Did Not Exist Or Happen

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Lead Stories Is NOT The Chinese Government, Did NOT Say Tienanmen Square Massacre Did Not Exist Or Happen

Did Lead Stories (or an entity using our logo and the name "Chinese Government") fact-check the claim that the Tienanmen Square Massacre did not happen? No, that's not true: a screenshot of an Instagram post showing a "fact-check" overlay making that claim and using our logo is not real. Lead Stories has never written anything mentioning Tienanmen Square until today in this fact-check.

An alert reader sent us a link to a a tweet (archived here) published by "bad moa takes" (@moaisadeadbird) on Twitter on December 20, 2019. The tweet consisted of an image that looked like an Instagram screenshot from the "historyinmemes" channel of a meme claiming the Tienanmen Square Massacre did happen, overlaid with a fact-check popup (including the Lead Stories logo) that read:

Independent Fact-Checkers Say This Is False

The primary claims in this information are factually inaccurate.

Fact-Checker: Chinese Government

Conclusion: False

More Information: False: There is no evidence to show that the massacre happened. In fact the soldiers cleared Tienanment Square witout any shooting an all accounts are false propaganda.

This is the image in question:


And here is the tweet:

Lead Stories is not, norhas nothing to do with, the Chinese government, as you can read on our "About" page. And, if you check our search page (today's version archived here), you can clearly see that, up until today, we have never written a story about the Tienanmen Massacre.


Facebook recently announced it would be showing fact-checks on Instagram for content that had been found to be false by such independent fact-checkers as Lead Stories. While we are part of the third-party fact-checking partnership with Facebook, we never fact-checked this image or any claims about the Tienanmen Square Massacre.

Combatting Misinformation on Instagram - About Facebook

We want you to trust what you see on Instagram. Photo and video based misinformation is increasingly a challenge across our industry, and something our teams have been focused on addressing. In May of this year, we began working with third-party fact-checkers in the US to help identify, review and label false information.

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Us

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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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