September 29, 2020

Trumps ear piece conspiracy is a perennial rehash
There's a conspiracy theory spreading on Social Media that former Vice President Joe Biden may be planning to use an electronic ear piece so his campaign can feed him lines during the first presidential debate Tuesday night. President Trump's re-election campaign is playing it up, having requested both candidates receive an ear inspection before they take the stage, although Biden's camp declined after reportedly agreeing to it.The unfounded claims are apparently based on a single tweet from an anonymous source and were quickly denied by the Biden campaign, but they've made the rounds anyway, eliciting eye rolls and criticism of Facebook for allowing the spread of disinformation.
As it turns out, this theory has popped up before. In a Twitter thread, GEN's Garance Franke-Ruta compiled a series of articles detailing how Hillary Clinton was subjected to the same rumors in 2016 when she ran against Trump. And it goes even further back than that, all the way to the pre-Trump era, with allegations of ear piece-related debate cheating hurled at former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well.

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