The claim: Lego is releasing “genderless” bricks without male or female connectors
Ahead of Pride Month in June, the Lego Group unveiled its first LGBTQ-themed setcalled “Everyone is Awesome.” That real news has inspired misinformation on social media.
A May 21 Facebook post features a screenshot of a headline that reads, “LEGO Unveils New Genderless Bricks With No Male/Female Connectors.” The headline screenshot includes an image of the Lego logo next to a smooth blue brick.
“This is the world we live in,” says text accompanying the post.
The post drew more than 1,700 likes and 1,000 shares.
But the claim isn’t meant to be taken seriously.
Fact heck: Comedian satirically altered image to show pride-themed, spike-covered underpass
The headline comes from the Babylon Bee, a satire website. The Facebook post does not mention the article is satirical.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.
Headline was published on satire site
The headline in the Facebook post is a screenshot of an article from the Babylon Bee, a website that describes itself as “your trusted source for Christian news satire.” The name of the site, however, is not visible on the post.
It’s an example of what could be called “stolen satire,” where stories written as satire and presented that way originally are captured via screenshot and reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate news. As a result, readers of the second-generation post are misled, as was the case here.
“It’s funny that some people think these bricks are real,” one user commented. Another user commented, “Why does this actually exist?”
USA TODAY has debunked similar reposts of Babylon Bee articles satirizing CNN shooting graphics and a Supreme Court nomination.
The original Babylon Bee article was published the same day that Lego announced its LGBTQ-themed set. The made-up May 20 article quotes a Lego spokesperson saying, “Every brick can stack on any other brick without anyone misgendering anything or making a brick feel bad because it only fits in one way.”
The Babylon Bee says on its website it’s “the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims.”
USA TODAY reached out to the LEGO Group for comment.
Our rating: False
The claim that LEGO is releasing “genderless” bricks without male or female connectors, is FALSE, based on our research. This claim was originally posted as satire, but other users online shared it without mention of the Babylon Bee satire website in a way that led other users to believe it was a factual claim. Lego has released no such product.
Our fact-checking sources:
- Facebook post, May 21
- USA TODAY, May 27, Pride is back in 2021! Here’s how to celebrate with parades, in-person and online events
- USA TODAY, May 20, ‘Everyone is Awesome’: Lego announces first LGBTQ set ahead of Pride Month
- Babylon Bee, May 20, LEGO Unveils New Genderless Bricks With No Male/Female Connectors
- LEGO, May 19, Everyone is Awesome LEGO® set celebrates fans’ diversity
- PolitiFact, May 26, Headline about Lego debuting genderless bricks is from a satire site
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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
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