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.

USA

Claim: Ballots of dead voters were counted in Pennsylvania and Michigan

Facts: Social media posts claim that ballots with names of dead people on them were counted in the states of Pennsylvania and Michigan. In Michigan, the name of William Bradley, a man who died in 1984 is presumably linked to an absentee ballot in Wayne County, Michigan. In Pennsylvania, the right-wing publication, Breitbart News wrote an article claiming that 21,000 dead people voted in the state. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, shared the article on his Twitter account and had 74,800 likes on it, as The New York Times reports.

Truth: “No ballot for the 118-year-old Mr. Bradley was ever requested, received or counted,” said Lawrence Garcia, Detroit Corporation Counsel, in an email to AFP. She also declared that it was “a clerical error.” “Ballots of voters who have died are rejected in Michigan, even if the voter cast an absentee ballot and then died before Election Day,” she said, reports AFP.Regarding Pennsylvania, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said: “The court found no deficiency in how Pennsylvania maintains its voter rolls.

There is currently no proof provided that any deceased person has voted in the 2020 election,” reports The New York Times.

USA

Claim: Joe Biden 'admits’ to voter fraud in a video

Facts: A video of U.S President-elect Joe Biden in which he admits to voter fraud was viewed more than 17 million times, according to The New York Times.

Truth: The video has been edited and taken out of context in order to make it appear that Biden was admitting to voter fraud, says The New York Times. The original video is a clip from October 24 2020 when Biden talked on the podcast “Pod Save America.” He was arguing about Obama administration efforts to secure against voter fraud.

His words in the shared video are lacking context and contain misleading information. The Biden campaign’s national press secretary said: “We have assembled the most robust and sophisticated team in presidential campaign history to confront voter suppression and fight voter fraud however it may present itself,” reports The New York Times.

USA

Claim: Thousands of ballots for Donald Trump were dumped in a field

Facts: A video shows police finding thousands of ballots for Donald Trump dumped in a field.

Truth: As Reuters reports, the video has been geolocated and results show that it was filmed near an Amazon facility in Hebron, Kentucky. Boone County Sheriff's Office said to Reuters that “a large amount of Amazon packages were located in the wooded area.” He also added later that “a representative from Amazon responded to the scene and confirmed that the recovered packages came from one of their local facilities.”

UK

Claim: Liverpool is organising Covid isolation camp to stop the virus

Facts: A tweet shared by a fake account of Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) says: “The people of Liverpool have embraced mass testing in the fight against #COVID19 assisted by the @BritishArmy.

Mayor Anderson is preparing to announce mandatory Covid Isolation Camps that will be patrolled by the army to prevent further viral outbreaks.” The post was widely shared on social media as Reuters reports.Truth: The Twitter account that shared this message is a parody account of the World Economic Forum founder, as Reuters reports. Therefore, this post should be read with irony and is not sharing true information. Liverpool City Council also said that “such a plan was not in motion” and that “anyone self-isolating should do so at home,” reports Reuters.

FRANCE

Claim: The Pope is asking to “rewrite the Bible” because “God made a mistake” about homosexuality

Facts: According to French social media users, the “Bible is being edited.” To support this claim, users shared a video with French subtitles showing the Pope explaining in Italian that it would be great to “rewrite the Bible” because “God was wrong” about homosexuals, reports AFP.

Truth: The French subtitles relating to Pope Francis’ words are not sharing the Pope’s statements, they have been. AFP also translated this interview and found that the subtitles “have nothing to do with what the Pope said in Italian.”

MALAYSIA

Claim: Video shows French police raiding mosque under president’s order

Facts: Video shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter shows French police forcibly removing Muslim worshippers from a mosque. According to the posts, the police raid allegedly took place last October, under the French president’s order.

Truth: According to AFP Fact Check, a reverse search on the internet shows that the same police operation appears in a video published on March 23, 2017, on the RFI YouTube channel.

Also according to AFP, on March 22, 2017, French police removed Muslim worshippers from a prayer hall that had operated in a government building in Clichy-la-Garenne after local authorities wanted to turn the place into a library.

PHILIPPINES

Claim: Philippine Supreme Court passed new law to imprison unfaithful husbands

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim that the Philippine Supreme Court “passed a law that could imprison for 6 months to 8 years husbands proven unfaithful and who have caused psychological violence to their wives.”

Truth: According to AFP Fact Check, the Philippines Supreme Court has not passed any new law on the subject. The rumor started to circulate after the country's Supreme Court sentenced a man on September 8, 2020, who was found guilty of having an extramarital affair.

The verdict, however, was based on a 2004 law that penalizes violence against women and children.

BRAZIL

Claim: US Supreme Court orders National Guard to arrest election officials and postal workers

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim that the US Supreme Court has ordered the National Guard in 12 states to “arrest election officials, postal workers and vote counters.” The posts are followed by a photo of President Donald Trump hugging and kissing a US flag.

Truth: According to Brazilian TV network Globo, the National Guard said that the claims are false. Also according to the National Guard, “the Supreme Court has no authority to call the National Guard.”

SPAIN

Claim: American newspaper headlined in 2000 that Al Gore had been elected president

Facts: Posts shared on Twitter show an alleged reproduction of the cover of the November 8, 2000, edition of The Washington Times with the headline declaring the victory of Democratic candidate Al Gore in that year's US presidential election – the actual winner turned out to be the Republican candidate George W.

Bush. One of the people who shared the claim was Donald Trump's campaign communications director, Tim Murtaugh, who later ended up deleting the tweet.

Truth: In response to the rumor on social media, The Washington Times tweeted that “those photos have been doctored” and that the publication never published a cover declaring Al Gore the winner of that election. According to the Spanish fact-checking website Maldita, in a search of the newspaper's archives it is possible to see that the cover of the November 8, 2000, edition headlined the victory of George W. Bush.

LATIN AMERICA

Claim: JFK said there was a plan to enslave people in the US

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim that in 1963, seven days before his assassination, then US President John F.

Kennedy talked about a supposed plan in the US “to enslave every man, woman and child”. “Before I finish my term, I will reveal this plan,” the politician would have said.

Truth: According to information from the fact-checking service of the Peruvian newspaper La República, there is no record that John F. Kennedy made such statements during his tenure as President of the USA. Other fact-checking services, such as Politifact, Snopes and Reuters, also investigated the issue and concluded that none of the former president's speeches or statements contained any quotations the same or similar to those shared on social media.

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