Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Delete A Photo Of Melania Trump With Her Sister And Mother

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Delete A Photo Of Melania Trump With Her Sister And Mother Routine

Did Facebook delete a photo of first lady Melania Trump, her sister and her mother? No, that's not true: The photo that was purportedly deleted (it wasn't) showed the first lady, her sister, and a philanthropist named Audrey Gruss -- not Melania Trump's mother. Facebook said it found no evidence of deletion. Some versions of the image were labeled as "partly false" in a fact-check by Reuters when the caption falsely claimed that the woman on the right was the first lady's mother, Amalija Knavs.

The claim appeared in from a Facebook post (archived here) where it was published on August 16, 2020, with the following text:

This was posted yesterday AND FACEBOOK DELETED IT. I would like to know why. It's Melania, her mom and sister. Everyone post this, she deserves this. LOVE IT THAT SHE HAS GONE VIRAL, OVER A THOUSAND HAS SIGNED THIS PICTURE.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Sep 22 15:31:45 2020 UTC)

"We have not found evidence of deletion," Andy Stone, a communications manager at Facebok, told Lead Stories in an email.

The woman on the left of the photo is Melania Trump's sister, Ines Knauss, as proven by the caption on the original photo of the trio as well as Knauss' Facebook and Instagram photos. This caption also contains the true identity of the woman on the right, Gruss, who has been photographed with the first lady previously.

Here are photos of the sisters' actual mother, Knavs.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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