The giant Ever Given container ship that clogged up the Suez Canal for six days isn’t out of the news just yet.
After it was freed, Egyptian authorities towed the 1,300-foot ship to Great Bitter Lake, a wider expanse of the canal where authorities would be able to inspect the vessel for damage.
Within days, dubious websites posted stories that claimed that the U.S. Navy SEALs took part in the inspection and found dead bodies and over 1,000 trafficked children on board.
“Navy Seals rescue over a thousand trafficked children and dead bodies out of shipping containers in the Suez Canal,” reads the all-caps headline of an April 3 post by a blog called the Marshall Report.
One person who shared the story on their Facebook page wrote, “YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!”
But it is made up.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The blog post repeats claims made in another article headlined, “Trafficked Children, Bodies, Weapons Found on Evergreen Ship Blocking Suez Canal,” published by a website called Before It’s News — a site that has published bogus news stories before.
It says unnamed “sources say” children were still being rescued and bodies discovered in the Ever Given’s 18,000-plus containers.
Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, told PolitiFact there is “no truth” to the rumor.
The ship was not raided by the SEALs and there’s no evidence any children or bodies were found on board. Ever Given was reported to be carrying an array of consumer goods, including Ikea furniture.
We rate this post Pants on Fire!
This article was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for these fact checks here and more of their fact checks here.