President Trump Makes English Official Language of U.S.-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Reports have gone viral that President Trump has made English the official language of the United States.
The claim that President Trump made English the official language of the United States is a hoax circulated by clickbait websites.
Clickbait websites use various tactics to encourage readers to click on and share their articles on social media. One such tactic is for them is to use a bold headline that doesn’t jive with the actual content of an article, which is what happened here.
The story appeared at DonaldTrumpPOTUS45.com “Breaking! President Trump Makes English the Official Language of the United States.” However, the article makes no mention of President Trump making English the Official Language of the U.S. Instead, it links to a Los Angeles Times story about the Trump administration disabling WhiteHouse.gov’s bilingual capabilities:
President Trump, who chided his opponents during the campaign for speaking Spanish, has made a tangible change to the White House website to eliminate bilingual access.
The site , which the Trump administration took over on Friday, no longer includes an option for translation into Spanish or another that gives information about access for disabled users that had existed under President Obama.
Spokesman Sean Spicer suggested the translation option may return but made no specific commitment on timing when asked about it Monday. He spoke generally about the high volume of work facing the technology team during the changeover.
“We are continuing to build out the website…,” Spicer said. “We’ve got the IT folks working overtime on that now.”
The original Los Angles Times story had nothing to do with President Trump making English the official language of the United States — but it helped the clickbait site achieve it’s goal to deceive readers into believing otherwise. The story had been shared on social media nearly 70,000 times within weeks of publication in January 2017. From there, many readers simply read the headline or re-shared it without actually clicking on the story, advancing the myth that Trump had made English the official language of the United States.