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Fact check: Patton Oswalt tweet has been manipulated    

Social media users have been sharing a doctored tweet showing comedian Patton Oswalt with a woman and a child and falsely linking it to “Pizzagate”, a well known conspiracy theory.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The tweet reads: “Went on a hunt and caught this tasty morsel Boo-yah! – at Comet Ping Pong”. Examples can be seen  here  and  here

Some of the posts and comments refer to “Pizzagate”, which stemmed from a fake online report that a Washington DC pizza restaurant was cover for a child sex trafficking ring ( here ). In 2017, a man named Edgar Welch went into the Comet Ping Pong restaurant with an assault rifle loaded with 29 rounds of ammunition, pointed it at an employee and fired shots into a door. He was sentenced to four years in prison.  

Welch told authorities he had been trying to investigate the online conspiracy theory that the eatery was a front for a pedophile ring led by then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ( here ). 

The Oswalt tweet has been edited in order to fabricate the caption and location. The original tweet can be seen  here . It reads, “Selfie at the #TeenTitansGoMovie premiere! Boo-yah!” and the location is tagged as TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California.  

The tweet appears to show Oswalt’s daughter and wife, who appear elsewhere in his Twitter feed  ( herehere ). 

A June 27 New York Times report  here  describes how the baseless “Pizzagate” theory has morphed away from Hillary Clinton to target a range of other celebrities. 

VERDICT

False. The text and location of this tweet have been falsified. The original tweet shows Oswalt and his family at a California movie theater, not a Washington pizza restaurant.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .    

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