A pair of maps that have gone viral on social media purport to show a high crime rate in areas of the country where most voters are Democrats. It’s fake news, say the Washington Post’s Fact Checker. The national map presented as a graphic of crime rates actually shows 2012 election results by county. The hoax has been kicking around the Internet since an anti-science blogger posted it in 2013. Snopes.com also debunked the maps last week, but the graphic continues to be shared by thousands of users on Facebook and Twitter.
The Fact Checker concludes, “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is — especially when it’s on Facebook. When it comes to viral, sensational images on social media, it usually takes no more than a healthy sense of gut-checking and some time searching on Google to debunk them as false. We encourage our readers to approach information on social media with skepticism, and send us any fishy information we can dig into.”