Fact Check: Fauci NOT 'Set To Be Arrested' For Lying To Congress -- It's A Followbait Scheme

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Fauci NOT 'Set To Be Arrested' For Lying To Congress -- It's A Followbait Scheme Bait & Switch

Is Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and former chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, facing imminent arrest for lying to Congress? No, that's not true: The allegation is part of a followbait or clickbait scheme.

In a typical bait-and-switch move, the poster of this claim promises social media users a tantalizing video about Fauci but delivers no such thing. Instead, the provided link leads to a landing page for FyreFox Media, a company that appears to be politically aligned with ex-President Donald Trump.

The claim appeared in a post on Instagram published on March 16, 2023. It opened:

🚨 BREAKING: ANTHONY FAUCI is set to be arrested!!! ‼️‼️

They are trying to censor this video and Mainstream media IS NOT reporting this! FAUCI has been charged for few crimes he made while he was Chief Medical Advisor.

Republicans claim Fauci may be imprisoned for eight years for lying to Congress.

Our Video was just removed by Instagram but you can see it if you CLICK LINK IN MY BIO NOW to Watch on our channel !!

You will be immediately approved!


This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Fauci clickbait.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Mar 17 14:57:26 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories did not find any credible information about plans to arrest Fauci or that Republicans were saying he could go to prison for eight years for allegedly lying to Congress.

The social media post also offers no evidence for its claim of Fauci's imminent arrest but, instead, directs readers to click on a link in the bio section of the account that takes them to a Linktree page for FyreFox Media. A screenshot of the page appears below:

FyreFox page.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Mar 17 15:38:47 2023 UTC)

Readers who click on the white "Fauci" button are then taken to a Telegram channel called "Trump Explicit," which says:

Confidental TOP SECRET cases exposed.

Lead Stories also found two other Instagram accounts (here and here) with the exact same wording, which directed readers through the same steps and, ultimately, to the same Telegram account.

This all indicates that the posts were designed to recruit users for the Telegram channel. A similar followbait tactic was examined by Lead Stories here and here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

Different viewpoints

Note: if reading this fact check makes you want to contact us to complain about bias, please check out our Red feed first.

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

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.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion