Culture secretary

Fake tweet about dogs wrongly attributed to UK culture secretary

COMPLAINT: Nadine Dorries, UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, suggested in a tweet that people should use dogs or cats to keep warm in winter.

AP RATING: Photo altered. There is no record of Dorries’ account posting such a tweet, and her office confirmed that she did not post it.

THE FACTS: A manipulated image, made to mimic a screenshot of a tweet posted by Dorries on his official Twitter account, is circulating on social media. A post garnered nearly 4,000 likes.

“To stay warm this winter, we should turn to man’s best friend, the domestic dog,” the image text begins. He continues: “As a nation of animal lovers, we are well aware that dogs can bring warmth. Also, in ancient China, Shih Tzus were tucked into sleeves to keep people warm. Cats probably work just fine.

But Twitter searches show no trace of Dorries verified twitter account post this message. No date for the alleged tweet is provided in the image.

Dorries’ office also confirmed that the tweet was not genuine.

“This is a fake tweet and was not posted by the Secretary of State or her team,” the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The lie is circulating as UK energy bills soar, the AP reported. High costs could force a growing number of people to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.

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This is part of AP’s efforts to combat widely shared misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.