19 Apr 2012 - Article No: 1539

Koch Brothers Funding George Zimmermans Legal Fees? - Internet/Facebook Rumour

Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour


In the wake of the killing Trayvon Martin ... the company Koch which manufactures paper products is paying for Zimmerman`s legal fees because they feel he had legal right to bare arms and shoot Trayvon. We are asking that people everywhere ban together with us and pass this information on and not purchase any of the following items because your money will be paying for Zimmermans lawyer fees. Please do not purchase any of the following items: Angel soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, Dixie plates, bowls, napkins, cups; Mardi Gras napkins and towels; Quilted northern toilet paper; Soft and Gentle toilet paper; Sparkle napkins; Vanity fair napkins and Zero napkins.


The following message is being passed around social networking sites, specifically across Tumblr and Facebook. The message asserts that Koch Industries, run by brothers David and Charles Koch, is funding the legal defense for George Zimmerman, a neighborwatch captain charged with the unlawful killing of Trayvon Martin. The message also implores readers boycott several popular products produced by Koch Industries.

The message - however - is completely untrue. It is likely derived from news reports that political correspondant Karen Finney blames the Koch Brothers -amongst others- for the death of Trayvon Martin because of their financial support for a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council who have actively promoted the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law (a.k.a. the Castle Doctrine) which applies in Florida where the killing took place, which George Zimmerman is using as his legal defense. (More information on the law and how it applies in Florida here.)

However despite the Koch Brothers ties with "A.L.E.C." it does not mean they are funding Zimmerman, who according to various news reports has his own website soliciting donations, which he would unlikely need to do if he was being funded by a billion-dollar corporation.

In fact the Twitter feed for KochFacts.com - [a site set up by Koch Industries to dispute claims made in a recent documentary attacking the company] - addresses and denies the baseless claims outright. A recent tweet reads -

There is no truth to the rumor that Koch is funding the defense of George Zimmerman.


So there you have it.




The Internet, and social networking sites like Facebook, are perfect platforms for spreading untruths, misinformation, rumor and propaganda. Thousands of inaccurate, exaggerated, deceptive or just plain false messages are circulated every single day.

For the anti-scam community to successfully tackle this plethora of false rumours, it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.

We have a two part blog post that helps provide this information. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.

Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here.

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