Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (AFP / Tom Williams)

Doctored tweet falsely suggests US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for ‘purge’ of US conservatives

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A purported screenshot of a tweet from US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been shared repeatedly on Facebook alongside a claim that she called for a “purge” of Conservatives. The posts circulated online shortly after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, demanding that officials overturn the election of Joe Biden as the next US president. The claim is false: there is no evidence of the tweet ever having appeared on Ocasio-Cortez’s official Twitter account, or in a database of deleted tweets. In response to the misleading posts, Ocasio-Cortez said she did not tweet the purported message.

The screenshot was shared in this Facebook post on January 12, 2021.

The post features an image of a purported tweet from US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

It reads: “Congrats to President Joe Biden. Now let’s begin “The Purge” to roundup all Conservative traitors! Democrats, let’s make Auschwitz look like a picnic!”

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post as of January 15, 2021.

The image was shared in Facebook posts here, here, and here alongside a similar claim.

The claim is false.

A search of the text in the purported tweet on Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter account did not locate any corresponding tweets on January 15, 2021.

A search of Ocasio-Cortez’s record on Politwoops, a database of deleted tweets from politicians maintained by investigative journalism project ProPublica, also produced no results that matched the misleading image.

In response to the misleading posts, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on January 14, 2021 that she did not call for a “purge”. 

A screenshot of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's tweet on January 14, 2021.

She wrote in a tweet: "FYI there is (yet another) viral misinformation campaign going on, this time a false tweet that’s been photoshopped to look like I sent out a call for a 'purge.'

“Unsurprisingly it’s circulating like wildfire on FB & Twitter. This is one way death threats & targeting ramp up."