A tweet from the White House kickstarted a chain reaction that led tens of thousands of people on Twitter to believe that outgoing President Obama lit up the White House in rainbow colors for his last night.
As part of a series of tweets detailing highlights of the Obama era, the White House sent out a picture from June 2015 when the White House was lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling banning states from defining marriage in a way that excludes same sex couples.
Because you fought to make it happen, marriage equality is the law of the land, and we made progress on ensuring that all are created equal. pic.twitter.com/uebl0FrP9C
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 19, 2017
Fiction writer Ivan Brandon sent out a tweet from his verified Twitter account claiming the image was from Obama’s last night in the White House and was intended as some sort of political statement.
White house lit in a rainbow on its last Obama night… 100% perfect. Love as defiance. You go, Mr. President. (Please don’t) pic.twitter.com/E5kYCS0xV2
— Ivan Brandon
By press time, Brandon’s tweet had garnered over 34,000 retweets — more than the original White House tweet.
This has 20,000 retweets and it’s 100 percent false. Old picture. https://t.co/pHZBxju0Ff
— Peter Hasson (@peterjhasson) January 20, 2017
Other people on Twitter followed his lead, sharing the image as though it were from Obama’s last night, further spreading the lie.
— Paul Dunphy Esquire (@pauldunphy) January 20, 2017
— Radical Report (@rdclrprt) January 20, 2017
Even after being made aware of his tweet’s inaccuracy, Brandon refused to delete it.