Thomas Jefferson’s 14 Most Egregious Fake Viral Quotes

Gif: Natalie Peeples / Gizmodo

It is a comforting thought that the insights of the past can ferry us through the trials of the present. We look to famous, beloved leaders for advice, whether it’s Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhior Walt Disney. We search for them on Google. What we find, however, is not a pile of pearls of wisdom but a heap of trash. Fakes abound, preying on our willingness to believe. And online hucksters in search of easy clicks and likes love nothing more than a past president, especially a Founding Father. Few people have more fake quotes attributed to them on the internet than Thomas Jefferson. And today, we’re taking a look at some of the most popular ones.

No, Jefferson never said “facts are stubborn things.” No, he never said, “when tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” And the third President of the United States of America definitely didn’t say, “a democracy is nothing more than a mob rule.”

We’ve got 14 quotes that you may have seen floating around on the internet recently, all credited to one of the Constitution’s principal authors. Some have even been regurgitated by Republican politicians like Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio. But they’re all fake.


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