The meme was flagged to Africa Check as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook here.)
The text of the meme, laid over a photo of Cobain, is formatted to look like a quote by him from 1993. It says: “In the end I believe my generation will surprise everyone. We already know that both political parties are playing both sides from the middle and we’ll elect a true outsider when we fully mature. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not a business tycoon who can’t be bought and who does what’s right for the people. Someone like Donald Trump as crazy as that sounds.”
Kurt Cobain was the frontman for alternative rock band Nirvana, before he died by suicide in 1994.
‘Grotesque perversion of Kurt’s beliefs’
In 2018 Danny Goldberg, a former manager of Nirvana, wrote an article disputing the claim that Cobain said these words.
Goldberg said not only did he not “know” that the quote was “made up” but that it would have gone against Kurt’s beliefs.
Cobain often differentiated Nirvana from “more overtly political punk bands like Dead Kennedys and Fugazi”, Goldberg said, but otherwise Cobain was “unambiguous about where his political sentiments lay”.
No record of Cobain quote
Fact-checking organisation Politifact, in a 2019 article, noted out that the meme “includes no sourcing or information about where Cobain made the prediction (besides the year 1993) and there is no record of Cobain ever saying it”.
The article notes that the meme has also been debunked by several other media outlets.
In a 1992 interview with an Argentinian journalist, Sergio Marchi, Cobain was unequivocal about his opposition to the rich. – Taryn Willows
Republish our content for free
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.