Fact Check: Tweet That Parents Divorced Over Debt And U.S. Medical System Does NOT Exist

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Tweet That Parents Divorced Over Debt And U.S. Medical System Does NOT Exist No Such Thing

Did a Twitter user named "Becky Lynn Paige" tweet that their parents divorced over $288,000 in debt and "the American medical system"? No, that's not true: There is no evidence that such a Twitter account ever existed, plus the counterfeit tweet contained more characters than Twitter allows.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on August 13, 2021. It featured what appeared to be a screenshot of a tweet by a verified Twitter user with the handle @beckylynnpaige88. The tweet, which the screenshot said was published on August 12, 2018, read:

Well, it's done. My parents divorce was finalized yesterday. They are no longer married after 52 years. Still in love and still together but divorce was necessary because of Dad's medical bills. Now, when Dad passes, mom won't be saddled with $288,000 in debt. She's free and the house is in her name. Pretty sad that decades of marriage comes to an end because of the American medical system.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on August 16, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Aug 16 15:32:38 2021 UTC)

Lead Stories found no evidence that a Twitter user named @beckylynnpaige88 has ever existed. A search of the Internet Archive does not display any activity from such a Twitter account. A screenshot of the Twitter URL for the account is included below:

becky lynn paige twitter page.PNG

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken Mon Aug 16 15:16:53 2021 UTC)

The only mentions of "beckylynnpaige88" on Twitter are the same screenshots used in the Facebook post and users informing others that the account does not exist.

Additionally, the alleged "tweet" contains 393 characters. Twitter only allows its users to use 280 characters or Unicode glyphs per tweet.

According to financial planners, the phenomenon of divorce to protect a spouse from medical debt is not unheard of.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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