There’s a tweet that’s gone viral on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, that appears to show Sen. Ted Cruz at a football game tweeting, “I am a normal American man,” with the hashtag #TexasFootball. And while the photo is indeed real, the caption is fake.
The real tweet, sent by the U.S. Senator from Texas on Saturday, reads, “At the @Baylor @txst game! #TexasFootball.”
The photo in the fake viral tweet doesn’t appear to have been altered. That strange backlit glow is 100% authentic in the original photo, as you can see in the side-by-side below. Only the wording “I am a normal American Man!” has been added.
Cruz has recently received criticism online for what many see as manufactured outrage over non-issues in American politics that are created to go viral. The latest example is an appearance on Newsmax where Cruz tried to suggest Joe Biden’s administration was going to limit all Americans to just two beers a week. The clip, which shows Cruz opening a beer with people awkwardly posing behind him, went viral on X and has been viewed by roughly 17 million people.
In reality, the White House has no plan to restrict the number of beers any American drinks in a given week. The two-beer recommendation is simply a suggestion being considered by U.S. health authorities. And with studies in recent years showing that consuming alcohol isn’t healthy at any level, it’s not surprising that health-focused agencies would make such a recommendation. We do unhealthy things all the time and the government doesn’t stop us.
Whatever you think of Sen. Cruz’s recent media appearances, he didn’t call himself a normal American man on X. Cruz did recently fall for a hoax photo of a shark swimming on a freeway in Los Angeles, but that’s another story.
X owner Elon Musk’s decision to let anyone pay $8 for a verified check mark that doesn’t actually verify anyone identity is making the site a central hub of misinformation that often bleeds into other social media sites like Facebook and TikTok. And whether it’s a Ebola outbreak at Burning Man, a laser beam starting fires in Hawaii or a fake ankle monitor for kids, the website seems to be inundated with more fake news each and every day.