Fact Check: 2021 Year In Review

We all hoped that 2021 would be an improvement from the year before. But in terms of disinformation, the news cycle never sloowed down, In many ways it was a repeat of 2020—lots of disinformation related to the pandemic and election conspiracies. So, in 2021, The Dispatch Fact Check continued to work tirelessly on familiar forms of ddisinformation. Coronavirus and vaccine misinformation continued apace, and new conspiracies popped up in other areas like the events of January 6. We’ve assembled a list of some of the most significant (and strangest) pieces of disinformation of the year, and enter into the new year hoping to leave them all behind. 

Election Disinformation

The Dispatch Fact Check
Assessing the Various Claims in Mike Lindell’s ‘Absolute Proof’
Close to a month into Joe Biden’s presidency, Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow and a Donald Trump supporter, has released a two-hour documentary called Absolute Proof purporting to show that Trump won the 2020 election. The film premiered on February 5 and aired several times on One America News, w…
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The Dispatch Fact Check
Fact Checking Trump’s Claims From His Call With Brad Raffensperger
In a phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday, President Trump pleaded with Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the results of the election in Georgia, which Joe Biden won by 11,779 votes. The Washington Post…
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The Dispatch Fact Check
Fact Checking Donald Trump’s WSJ Letter to the Editor
On October 27, the Wall Street Journal published a letter to the editor from Donald Trump, responding to “Pennsylvania’s 2020 Election.” In it, Trump maintains that the 2020 election was “rigged.” The former president recycled familiar—and previously debunked—voter fraud claims to make his case…
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The Dispatch Fact Check
Fact Checking Donald Trump’s Speech From the ‘Save America March’
Shortly before a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, President Trump gave a speech in front of a “Save America March” during which he went through a litany of familiar conspiracy theories and false voter-fraud allegations about…
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January 6 Disinformation

The Dispatch Fact Check
Were Antifa Supporters Among Those Who Overtook the Capitol Building?
Viral social media posts claimed that two prominent participants in the riot that overtook Capitol Hill Wednesday were actually leftists or Antifa members…
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The Dispatch Fact Check
Debunking the Conspiracy Theories Claiming That Antifa Led the Attack on the Capitol
Following the storming of Capitol Hill by Trump supporters on Wednesday, many on the pro-Trump right attempted to shift blame for the attack to Antifa instead. Two connected conspiracy theories started to spread: one claiming that two men at the riot had been identified as leftists and Antifa members, the other…
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The Dispatch Fact Check
Fact Checking Joe Biden’s Comment on the Death of Brian Sicknick
During a press conference after his meeting with Vladmir Putin on Wednesday, President Joe Biden was asked about Putin justifying crackdowns on political opposition by saying he didn’t want something like the January 6 attack on the Capitol to happen in Russia. Biden…
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The Dispatch Fact Check
Do Reports That Militia Members Planned to Storm the Capitol ‘Undermine’ the Case for Impeachment?
An article from PJ Media claims that “the Washington Post Admits Trump Did Not Incite the Capitol Riot” and that reports that some rioters planned their attack in advance “completely undermine[s] the entire case Democrats made for impeaching Trump.” As evidence, the article links to a recent…
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COVID-19 Disinformation 

The Dispatch Fact Check
Could the mRNA Vaccines Permanently Alter DNA?
An article from The Defender, a news website that describes itself as “an online news site to evade official censorship, to report fact-based news and sponsor the kind of honest debate that terrifies the new generation of corporate and government commissars,” claims that scientific research suggests that coron…
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