Fact Check: Chicago Mayor Did NOT Tell Migrants They Can Rob Americans If They Run Out of Debit Card Funds -- Satire Source

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Chicago Mayor Did NOT Tell Migrants They Can Rob Americans If They Run Out of Debit Card Funds -- Satire Source Satire Article

Did the Chicago mayor tell migrants they can "just rob Americans" if they run out of debit card funds? No, that's not true: The mayor never said this. The fabricated quotes came from a satire article posted by The Daily Wasp, a website that sports its disclaimer right at the top of the page: "Stinging satire. Biting humor. Liberals beware." The standalone meme featuring the article's headline that was posted to the Daily Wasp Facebook page had no disclaimer and it seems several people on social media did not realize the quote was fake.

The claim can be found in a post (archived here) published by The Daily Wasp Facebook page on March 27, 2024. A link to the full article on thedailywasp.com was included in the first comment of the post. The text of the meme, which is the same as the article's headline, reads:

Chicago Mayor Tells Migrants If They Run Out of Debit Card Funds, They Can Just Rob Americans

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


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Mar 28 15:53:38 2024 UTC)

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson never said the things attributed to him in this meme or article. A Google search (pictured below) for an exact quote attributed to him returned only one result -- thedailywasp.com (archived here).


(Source: Google.com screenshot taken on Thu Mar 28 21:01:37 2024 UTC)

There is a belief (backed with some research) that Facebook posts without links get about twice the engagement as those that contain links. For this reason, many content producers insert links in the first comment rather than the body of the post. A possible drawback is that the audience will not see the link or visit the website -- where, in this case, they would see a satire disclaimer at the top of the webpage.

A sampling of comments on The Daily Wasp post, some menacing, demonstrate that many in the audience don't know The Daily Wasp is a satire site:

  • He should be expelled for his job endorsing robberies and criminality and citizens should sue him for that and for not promoting the safety of all citizens
  • He's inciting crimes and should go to prison for a very long time. Someone should get his home address and print up flyers showing where he lives, and hand them out to the illegals and tell them they should start there first. Let him get a real taste of what he is doing.
  • Everyone needs to read to this. Unbelievable!!!

Lead Stories has a Satire Policy, it explains some of the circumstances when a satire article may be fact checked:

When do we fact check satire?

Of course we won't fact check every satirical story that crosses our desk. We will generally only do it if it seems there are enough people believing it is real. We often look at the comments and if there are several that appear to be coming from people taking the story at face value we may opt to fact check it. But if a story is just too ridiculously obvious we usually won't bother.

Lead Stories reached out to the mayor's office and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights for comment and will update this article if we receive a response.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks on claims about migrants can be found here. One debunk counters the myth that migrants are given $5,000 from the U.S. government.

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.:

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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