USA TODAY followed the rapid spread of a social media conspiracy theory about George Soros and migrants that grew from obscurity to the political mainstream.


This is the life of a lie.

Three weeks ago, a caravan of Hondurans began walking nearly 2,000 miles to the United States. Their ranks grew as they inched north and, along with them, falsehoods grew, too. But one stands out: a conspiracy theory that liberal billionaire George Soros, a Jewish immigrant, is paying the migrants to make the journey – or even orchestrating it.

Members of Congress and the president’s son both repeated it. Conservative celebrities, too.

It also may have resonated in darker places. Cesar Sayoc, the man charged with mailing pipe bombs to Soros and other prominent critics of President Donald Trump, dwelled at length online about conspiracy theories involving the Hungarian-American philanthropist. Robert Bowers, charged with killing 11 people worshiping in a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, used his social media accounts to post extensively about the caravan, including circulating an image of refugees in Guatemala purportedly climbing into a truck with a Star of David on the side.

But it began with a handful of posts in the caravan’s early days.  (Read More)