You know this already, but: Don't believe everything you see on social media.
Amid controversy over former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's Nike ad, a post on a Reddit political humor section showed Kaepernick kneeling in front of an F-150 pickup.
"Ford USA Follows Nike's Example with Surprise Kaepernick Endorsement. — FOX News"
"In a controversial move, Ford kicked off the 40th anniversary of the 'Built Ford Tough' slogan with the former NFL star as its new brand ambassador," the phony post read in part.
Kaepernick, of course, is the former San Francisco 49er quarterback who was among the first NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest killing of black people by police officers across the country. He alleges the NFL blackballed him, and President Donald Trump loves the issue as a political, um, football, urging NFL boycotts and for team owners to fire players who kneel.
The Reddit post was a triple fake — and never was meant to be taken seriously, but we know how things go on the internet. Ford did NOT run such an ad. Fox News did NOT report it.
A Ford spokesman told the Free Press on Tuesday: "It's fake. There's not much more to say."
Snopes, the online fact-checking site, quickly declared it false.
How does this happen?
After the Nike ad appeared, Reddit user GallowBob posted a tweet from @Patterico:
"I'll pay Ford $10 if they put Kaepernick in a commercial for F-150s so I can watch some dumbass torch his pickup on Twitter, who's with me"
In response, Reddit user fakenewsanchorman created the phony Ford ad.
The Reddit post wasn't all of the misinformation about Ford and the NFL protest controversy circulating on the internet in recent days.
Social media posts and headlines last week said that Ford supported the right of NFL players to protest.
"Ford steps up to support NFL players protesting police brutality," thegrio.com wrote in one such post.
This was true — it was just a year old.
In Sept. 2017, Martha Firestone Ford, owner and chairwoman of the Lions, said: “Our game has long provided a powerful platform for dialogue and positive change in many communities throughout our nation. Negative and disrespectful comments suggesting otherwise are contrary to the founding principles of our country, and we do not support those comments or opinions.”
Maybe, since the president has made so much of NFL players kneeling, the stir about Ford was related to the company batting down a Trump tweet that tariffs meant that it now could build the Focus Active in the U.S. It won't, and that's a fact.
Contact: @randyessex on Twitter; firstname.lastname@example.org.