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Dr. Anthony Fauci is not set to be arrested.
The post instructed social media users to click through to a video that doesn’t exist as part of a classic bait-and-switch tactic to gain followers.
"BREAKING: ANTHONY FAUCI is set to be arrested!!!" That’s the message social media users were confronted with in a slew of recent viral Instagram and Facebook posts. (Tip: When there are multiple exclamation points and ALL CAPS, be wary).
Fauci, the retired National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director and a popular scapegoat among far-right conservatives, is not facing arrest. The claim follows a long line of other fabrications about Fauci being indicted or 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! NOTE: SHARE IT EVERYWHERE BEFORE IT’S TAKEN DOWN."
The posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Some conservative commentators and politicians have called for Fauci’s arrest over his testimony to Congress about the COVID-19 pandemic’s origins. But we found no credible evidence — such as news reports or government press releases — that an arrest is set to happen.
The post appears to be part of a clickbait scheme. The bait-and-switch comes as the caption instructs users to follow a link to a video that proves Fauci’s charges, but was "removed" by Instagram. But there is no video.
The link instead leads to a page for "FyreFox Media," which appears to be a group aligned with former President Donald Trump.
The page has one button labeled "Fauci." Clicking the button takes users to a Telegram channel called "Trump Explicit," which is described as a "PRIVATE CHANNEL Only for REAL TRUMP SUPPORTERS. Confidential TOP SECRET cases exposed. TRUMP IS OUR PRESIDENT."
Fauci appeared March 11 on CNN and told host Jim Acosta that remarks from high-profile people calling for his arrest are irresponsible and endanger his family.
"Every time somebody gets out and spouts some nonsense that is misinformation, disinformation and outright lies, somebody somewhere decides they want to do harm to me and or my family," he said.
Fauci added that the threats are the reason he still needs security protection, even after stepping down in 2022 as a chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and the institute.
We rate claims that say Fauci is set to be arrested Pants on Fire!
GhostArchive.org, FyreFox media linktree page, Accessed March 17, 2023
GhostArchive.org, "Trump Explicit" Telegram channel, Accessed March 17, 2023
CNN, Hear Dr. Fauci's response to Covid lab leak theory, March 11, 2023
The Independent, ‘There’s no response to that craziness’: Fauci reacts to Elon Musk and GOP calls to prosecute him, March 12, 2023
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