A blatantly fake tweet appears to be convincing people that Hillary Clinton’s running mate is in an open marriage.
Snopes was unable to track down the original image. Its earliest known use is in a tweet by someone named Scott Ernst, who has a penchant for tweeting unverified stories and conspiracy theories and has shared the story six more times, according to BuzzFeed. The image was also picked up by fake news sites like Prntly and pushed in pro-Trump circles.
It’s simple enough to fake a tweet. You can do it easily in Photoshop, and there are entire sites devoted to it. That was clearly the case here.
The quote actually comes from an article in New York Magazine, “What Open Marriage Taught One Man About Feminism,” which published in July 2015, around the time of the alleged tweet.
While there are some obvious trolls in the mix—easily identified by some sort of “deplorable” reference in their Twitter handle—there are plenty of people who still believe the claim.
@ImusShow Wide Open Kaines
A tweet ostensibly posted by vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine allegedly acknow. that he has a open marriage
— Cliff Hornsby (@hornsbyCliff) October 5, 2016
Kaine lost me when he said his wife wanted open marriage & he thought that showed love!! What a spin!!
— Beverly Duncan (@BeverlyDuncan13) October 5, 2016
She didn't ask Kaine why he thinks his open marriage makes him qualified to be 1 heartbeat from the Presidency.
— Princess Lea 🇺🇸 (@LeaSavoy) October 5, 2016
"New Doubts About Hillary" I wonder if Kaine's wife and Bill will hook up…. since they both have an open marriage
— scott (@midwestmut) October 5, 2016
Now I know why Kaine & his wife admit to an alleged "open marriage" arrangement.
— Mr. Veritas (@MrVeritas) October 5, 2016
— Debbie (@MsDianaFrances) August 28, 2016
It’s unlikely that the hoax will have any sort of statistically significant impact on the election, but it’s still discouraging to see how much damage can be done with some quick Photoshop.