Fact Check: Lia Thomas Did NOT Say She Is Leaving US For 'More Tolerant Country'

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Lia Thomas Did NOT Say She Is Leaving US For 'More Tolerant Country' Satire Origin

Did swimmer Lia Thomas say she's leaving the United States for a "More Tolerant Country"? No, that's not true: This claim originally appeared in an article on a satirical website known for publishing fabricated content. The website where this claim originated has a disclaimer that reads, "Everything on this website is fiction."

The claim reappeared in an article (archived here) published by Lich News on November 26, 2023, under the title "Lia Thomas Says She's Leaving the US for a 'More Tolerant Country.'" It began:

Former NCAA swimmer Lia Thomas has decided to leave the United States, expressing frustration with the pervasive hostility she encounters. In an interview with Media Matters, she shared her discontent, 'Everyone is just so hateful. They won't stop calling me "he/him."'

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Lia Thomas Leaving US Image.png

(Source: Lich News screenshot taken on Thu Mar 14 18:10:11 2024 UTC)

A Google search (archived here) of a direct quote attributed to Thomas in the Lich News article revealed a single result, of a link that leads to a November 26, 2023, Dunning-Kruger Times.com article (archived here) that displays the exact same title and claim in the Lich News article.

A Google search (archived here) for a Media Matters interview where Lia Thomas said, "Everyone is just so hateful. They won't stop calling me 'he/him,'" produced no results that prove that this interview took place.

Lead Stories reached out to Thomas' representatives and will update this fact check if a response is received.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to Lia Thomas can be found here.

The source: The Dunning-Kruger Times

The Dunning-Kruger Times is a satirical website with an about page (archived here) that has the following disclaimer:

About Us

Dunning-Kruger-Times.com is a subsidiary of the 'America's Last Line of Defense' network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery, or as Snopes called it before they lost their war on satire: Junk News

About Satire

Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with 'comedy':

sat·ire ˈsaˌtī(ə)r noun: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

The website is named after the Dunning-Kruger effect, a term from a psychology experiment that describes the phenomenon of being ignorant of one's own ignorance. (That experiment has been disputed by a math professor.)

It is run by self-described liberal troll Christopher Blair.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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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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