The world of news is complex - and false stories and visuals are often widely shared on social media. Blasting News’ editorial team spots the most popular hoaxes and misleading information every week to help you discern truth from falsehood . Here are the most shared claims of this week, of which none are legit.


Claim: Obama wasn’t the first US Black president, John Hansen was

Facts: A post shared on Twitter and Facebook shows a picture of a Black man claiming that he is John Hansen, the real first Black President of the United States. The man is said to have served as first president of the Continental Congress, “even before George Washington.” He is also described as the president “who ran America after the country got (its) independence from the British.”

Truth: As Reuters reports, the claim confuses two men with the similar name, John Hanson, misspelled in these posts as “Hansen.” One of them is Black the other white.

The description seen in the post refers to the white John Hanson, who was the first president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, the agreement the U.S. government put into place before the start of the Constitution in 1781, according to Reuters.

The picture shared in the posts is a daguerreotype photograph of a former slave, John Hanson, who bought out his own freedom. The man arrived in Liberia and later became a senator in Grand Bassa County, Liberia, as Reuters says.

Therefore, the man in the picture is not the man who was president of the Continental Congress as said in the post. Barack Obama - the 44th president - is thus the first Black president of the United States.


Claim: The NBA threatened to “never play again” unless Trump resigns

Facts: Several posts shared on Facebook have been showing a screenshot of a news platform with the headline: “NBA to Trump: Resign or We'll Never Play Again 2020”.

Truth: On March 11, the NBA suspended the season because of COVID-19. The article says that the reason was not actually the pandemic but that a suspension “has been in the making for months and that they were simply looking for a good excuse to shut it all down.” The article goes on to say that “The players, led by Washington Generals All-Star Power Forward Art Tubolls, held a secret vote prior to the beginning of the season to suspend the league for any credible reason until President Donald Trump resigns from office or is voted out.”

As Reuters reports, Art Tubolls is not a real person but an anagram for, a parody news website.


Claim: Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Dalia Grybauskaite were friends when they were kids as picture proves

Facts: A conspiracy theory has been shared on Facebook claiming that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the former British Prime Minister Theresa May and the former Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite knew each other when they were kids. The posts claim that the Illuminati have been responsible for their position of power bringing the three women together since their childhood.

Truth: This picture only shows Angela Merkel as a teenager. The two other children are not Theresa May or Dalia Grybauskaite, as Reuters reports. Several news publications already published the picture captioned: “Angela Kasner, 18, with friends at a New Year’s Eve party in Berlin in 1972”.

TIME published it in 2015 when Merkel was elected Person of the Year by the magazine and CNN also used it several times using a similar context.


Claim: A missile striking a building in Beirut in early August 2020 and causing a massive explosion

Facts: A video was shared tens of thousands times on social media, as AFP reports. It shows a missile striking a building in Beirut, Lebanon, causing a massive explosion. The video is in negative effect and claims that the incident that killed 160 people in Beirut on August 4 was “a missile attack, not an accident”.

Truth: This video has been doctored according to AFP Fact Check. It has been shared in different languages, on several platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It shows a large cloud of smoke spreading above the port of Beirut. A few seconds later, a missile appears and seems to hit the port which leads to a massive explosion. Some social media users are convinced that this video shows the true reason following this incident. They point at the video being a “negative” version highlighting the video darkest areas, showing the hidden parts of the footage.

AFP Fact Check found the original video using InVid-WeVerify. They discovered that the video was broadcasted on CNN Arabic’s website on August 4th, 2020, with the caption “Lebanon ..

A huge explosion near Beirut harbor leaves injuries, severe damage and chaos in the center of the capital.” The original video does not show any missile and no negative filter has been applied. On another hand, other videos of the blast do not film any missile hitting the building.


Claim: The Giza pyramids were lit to show solidarity with Lebanon after a huge explosion in the port of Beirut

Facts: An Indonesian news outlet,, shared a picture of the Giza pyramids lit up with a projection of the Lebanese flag.

The headline reads: “Showing Solidarity, Egypt’s Pyramids Light Up With Lebanese Flag.” The picture has then been shared widely on Facebook and Twitter while other news platforms have reused it such as, and, as AFP Fact Check reports.

Truth: According to AFP Fact Check, the picture has been edited. The original picture can be found on the official Facebook page of Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The words “EXPERIENCE EGYPT SOON” are projected onto the pyramid with a blue light.

Moreover, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities also disclaim this information: “This news is not true,” a source at the ministry told a journalist at AFP’s Cairo bureau.


Claim: Canada is Coronavirus-free

Facts: Posts on Facebook and Twitter claim that Canada is “free” of Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and that they hope the Philippines will be the next.

Truth: According to AFP Fact Check, the Canadian government reported on August 9 that there were 6,742 active COVID-19 cases in the country. The false claim comes as parts of the Philippines return to lockdown after the number of infections in the country has grown sharply and has passed the 100,000-case barrier.


Claim: Senegal uses chloroquine since the first case and has only five deaths from Covid-19

Facts: Posts on Facebook claim that Senegal has been using chloroquine – a drug that has been used for decades to prevent and treat malaria and certain autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus – since the first case of coronavirus in the country and that for this reason it has registered only five deaths by Covid-19 so far.

Truth: According to Johns Hopkins University, on August 12 Senegal had 238 deaths by Covid-19 and 11,380 confirmed cases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), scientific evidence indicates that chloroquine does not reduce mortality in patients with Covid-19.


Claim: New videos of George Floyd's arrest show him threatening a pregnant woman with a gun

Facts: Posts shared thousands of times on Twitter claim that a new full video of the arrest of George Floyd, a black man who was murdered by a white police officer on May 25 in Minneapolis, USA, shows that he “threatened a pregnant woman with a gun” and “was drugged with four times the deadly amount of fentanyl.”

Truth: The video to which the claims refer, recorded by the camera on the uniform of one of the policemen, was published by the British newspaper Daily Mail on August 3. In the 8 minutes recording, it is not possible to see George Floyd threatening anybody. From minute two to the end of the footage he has his hands cuffed behind his back.

Regarding the claim that he was drugged, the autopsy carried out by Hennepin County medical authorities attributed Floyd’s cause of death to “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”


Claim: Press ignored death of a French police officer because the killer was a Muslim

Facts: An article published on July 29 on the blog Amigo de Israel 2.0 and shared thousands of times on social media claims that the French press ignored the murder of a police officer by a Muslim man. Featuring the title “France: Muslim kills police officer (Press ignores),” the article claims that this death was not reported because the person who committed the crime is a Muslim and that “journalists (almost all of them on the far left) are officially committed to the Islamization of the West.”

Truth: On July 4, French police officer Mélanie Lemée, 25, was run over after a driver refused to obey a stop order during a roadside check in Port-Sainte-Marie.

Lemée ended up dying of multiple injuries. The news of Lemée's death, however, was published by major French media outlets, like the newspapers Le Figaro and Le Monde. The AFP even covered Mélanie Lemée's funeral, held with military honors. There is no information, however, that the perpetrator is a Muslim.