A claim has gone viral on social media recently, insisting that a man was arrested for putting his own arrow decals on the floor of an Ikea. The viral claim says that it created a “labyrinth with no exit.” And while anyone who’s been confused inside an Ikea can surely relate, it’s simply not true that a man was arrested for pulling off this prank.

The claim, which has most recently gone viral on the social media platform BlueSky, is credited to a “satire” website called There Is News. But it’s actually a fairly old fake news story, dating to at least 2019, when it went viral on sites like 9gag and Twitter, the social media platform now known as X.

USA Today even debunked this one in a post back in 2021, but it still pops up on social media from time to time. As USA Today points out, the claim often goes viral on Facebook with details such as the name of the man, a 33-year-old named Sylvester Schwartz, and claims he was arrested by the Chicago Police Department. But the story simply never happened.

The fact-checkers at USA Today even got in touch with the Chicago Police Department to get confirmation this was a fake story. As the CPD pointed out, there’s actually no Ikea within the city limits. There is an Ikea in the suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois and another in Bolingbrook, Illinois, but each have their own police forces that would respond to any disturbances.

Fake news stories often go viral on sites like Facebook and X, which have their own fact-check programs that attempt to correct inaccurate information. But BlueSky, a relatively new entry to the social media market, hasn’t yet instituted anything like X’s Community Notes program. BlueSky does flag impersonation accounts, but false stories can spread rather easily without any mechanism in place to be flagged for being fake.

But even Community Notes struggles to keep up with bad info sometimes. Misinformation has absolutely flooded X in recent months, with many viral stories involving everything from the Israel-Gaza war to whether President Joe Biden is actually a body double wearing a Biden mask. To be clear, there’s no evidence Biden is wearing a mask. That’s just what the human face looks like as we age.





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