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CLAIM ID

5292551b

Senator Ted Cruz wrote very similar tweets following mass shootings between 2012 and 2022. He only changed the location name.

The image in question has been digitally altered. Cruz did not write the same condolence message for different mass shootings.

Context: In the aftermath of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, social media users have been sharing a post claiming to show Texas Senator Ted Cruz's condolence messages in response to various mass shootings. The post claims to show a collage of tweets from Cruz's official Twitter account between 2012 and 2022, with the most recent one at the top relating to the recent Uvalde school shooting. In the collage, except for the mass shooting location, each tweet includes the same three lines, indicating that Cruz has posted the same condolence message after each mass shooting since 2012. Social media users have accused the senator of having a response template ready to go in the event of a shooting. One such post caption read, ''Ted Cruz has a template for his mass shooting tweets.'' In fact: Except for the first tweet, all of the other tweets in the collage have been digitally altered and were never posted by Cruz. The text of the first tweet, which depicts Cruz's response on May 25, 2022, to the Uvalde shooting incident, is legitimate. But according to advanced Twitter searches, web archives, and the ProPublica database that includes Cruz's deleted tweets, the rest of the reported tweets in the collage picture are fake, as Cruz didn't post them. The other 11 locations mentioned in the collage with the identical three sentences are New York, Sacramento, Indianapolis, Rochester, El Paso, Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Newtown. On Twitter, we found Cruz's tweets regarding the shootings in New York, El Paso, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Newtown, and they aren't identical. On the other hand, we could not find any tweets by Cruz in response to the Sacramento, Indianapolis, Rochester, Virginia Beach, or Parkland shootings. Besides the digitally altered content purporting to be tweets from Cruz, the collage also has inaccurate timestamps for some tweets. Even though Cruz tweeted his prayers after the New York shooting in May, the modified fake collage, including the New York tweet, has an April 2022 timestamp. Cruz's Twitter post in response to the El Paso shooting was posted on August 15, 2019, and the manipulated tweet has the timestamp of August 4, 2019. Similarly, Cruz's original tweet in response to the Pittsburgh shooting was posted on October 27, 2018, while the altered one has a timestamp of October 28, 2018. The original tweet regarding Newtown was posted on December 15, 2012. Yet, the altered tweet bears a timestamp of December 14, 2012. Verdict: The screenshot displaying Cruz's posts with similar thoughts and statements to 11 shootings in the U.S. between 2012 and 2022 is an altered image. The image's only authentic tweet is from May 25, 2022, which was then digitally replicated to create identical tweets attributed to Cruz. Cruz did not tweet similar condolence messages by merely replacing the location of the incident. Thus we have marked this claim as false.

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