Fact Check # 6: DRAFT Truthometer post

Source: The Guardian

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As I scrolled through Facebook I noticed something quite a few of my friends were reposting. I was immediately drawn to the post because there was a little picture in the corner of a hamster. I’ve always had hamsters as pets because my parents never allowed me anything that didn’t live in a cage. The post claimed that spirit airlines forced a 21 year old college student was forced to flush her emotional support hamster down the toilet before boarding a flight back to her hometown in Florida. The source says that she had contacted the airline for permission to bring her pet aboard prior to the attempt, and was told there wouldn’t be an issue.  According to Guardian, Spirit Airlines admits to falsely  telling the girl that the hamster would be able to fly. However, they deny ever telling the young girl to harm the animal in any way. I figured this would be a good article to fact check because it unintentionally focuses on animal cruelty, a topic that I personally, and many others, don’t take lightly. It also touches on the recent crack down on emotional support animals.

As my first step into fact-checking I decided to look at what others were saying about this. Before even leaving the facebook app, I looked up “emotional support hamster” on the sites search bar. I wasn’t shocked when I found that many major news sights were also covering this story. Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 11.18.48 AM

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I took a look at what the fox43 site had to say, this surprisingly took me to a word press page. The page was cluttered in sponsored content and pretty much gave me a headache to look at. However, the story this site offered was pretty much the same, but with more detail. This page added in that 21 year old Aldecosea is now planning to file a lawsuit against the airline. Fox43 also offered the full statement from Spirit:

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which also included a link to the airlines emotional support animal policy. 

The articles have failed to provide information regarding whether or not the young girl had the proper documentation for her pet.




I tried to look deeper into the writer for the Fox43 word press site.  The article was apparently written by Tribune Media Wire. On the site there was a link provided which I assumed would give me more information about the writer. Instead I learned from the sites About me page that this isn’t just somebody like me with a word press account, it’s a news site that also offers T.V listings, school visits, and it also has an option to look into employment with them.


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