The spread of misinformation online continues to be a persistent problem, particularly when it comes to political figures. Recently, a Twitter user shared a photograph that appeared to show Florida Governor Ron DeSantis standing behind a podium with a sign that read “LOWER AGE OF CONSENT.” This caused immediate concern and criticism, with some users claiming that the governor was promoting the idea of lowering the age at which minors could legally engage in sexual activity.
Our Verdict: Fake
On May 3, 2023, a Twitter user shared a photograph that appeared to show Governor DeSantis standing behind a podium with a sign that read “LOWER AGE OF CONSENT.” The tweet gained traction quickly, with many users expressing concern and outrage over the idea of the governor promoting such a policy.
The original tweet read: “Man he is really getting desperate to halt his slide in the polls.” Despite numerous replies pointing out that the image was digitally altered, the user continued to insist that it was real. One reply read, “It’s 100% real.”
Other users on Twitter also shared the photograph, along with critical comments and accusations directed towards Governor DeSantis. However, some users pointed out that the photograph was doctored and that the real sign on the podium read “LOWER DRUG PRICES.” Here is the real Tweet
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) says he supports lowering the minimum age to buy a rifle from 21 to 18:— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2023
“Look, I was in Iraq. I was there with 18-year-old Marines … Then, they come back after doing that, and … they’re told you cannot exercise your 2nd Amendment rights here?” pic.twitter.com/RO8omBC68K
Here we found proof that the tweet did with an altered image because here we found the source from the Fox News post that clearly says that the real tweet was all about DeSantis saying 18-year-olds should be able to buy rifles.
It is crucial to remember that social media can be a breeding ground for false and manipulated information. It is important to fact-check any claims before sharing them and to verify the accuracy of any images or videos before accepting them as real.
In this case, the claim that Governor DeSantis advocated for lowering the age of consent was based on a digitally altered image. While it is important to hold public figures accountable for their actions and statements, it is equally important to do so based on accurate information. Misinformation and false claims can cause harm and confusion, and it is up to each of us to combat them through responsible and fact-based communication.
After fact-checking by Snopes and other sources, it was confirmed that the photograph was digitally altered. The real sign on the podium read “LOWER DRUG PRICES,” and there was no indication that Governor DeSantis was advocating for a change in the age of consent. It is important to remember that digitally altered or fabricated images and messages can be easily shared and can cause confusion and harm.
In reporting on the claim that Governor DeSantis advocated for lowering the age of consent, we consulted several sources, including:
- The original tweet that shared the digitally altered photograph: https://web.archive.org/web/20230504183739/https://twitter.com/_FleerUltra/status/1653836507332087808
- A Snopes article that fact-checked the claim: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/desantis-lower-age-of-consent/
- A Twitter user shared a photograph of the real sign on the podium: https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1653788245073723392
- A Fox News article that featured a photograph of Governor DeSantis in the same clothing and setting as the doctored image: https://www.foxnews.com/video/6326691146112