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: The Alabama nurse who fainted after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine died

Facts: Several claims shared online declare that Tiffany Dover, a nurse who received the COVID-19 vaccine, died. Her supposed real name would be Tiffany Pontes according to these posts. A “deceased list” published on unofficial websites called Ancestry.com and SearchQuarry supports the claim.

Truth: The Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Tiffany Dover works, debunked the claim.

The hospital shared a video of Dover and her colleagues four days after the vaccination to show that she was alive and well. Dover did faint after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine but she is alive. Moreover, Ancestry.com and SearchQuarry, are not official public record sites and they didn't share an official death certificate.

USA

Claim: The QAnon supporter wearing fur and horns rallied for Antifa or BLM

Facts: On January 6th 2021, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to overturn Biden’s election.

Several pictures have been shared around the world and the face of a rioter wearing fur and horns has been circulating online. His face has been identified by some social media users with the one of a Black Lives Matter supporter part of the left-wing anti-fascist movement Antifa.

Truth: The man has been identified as Jake Angeli. AZ Central who interviewed him in May 2020 supported Donald Trump and his ideas.

The journalist who interviewed him described on Twitter: “Here’s part of my interview with Jake Angeli, the 32-year old man I previously posted about, who thanked the president @realDonaldTrump and Q. He applauded the work of the president and criticized that of the press.”

USA

Claim: Washington Dc mayor has ordered facilities to close to deter pro-Trump protesters

Facts: Several posts have been shared online saying that Dc mayor Muriel Bowser asked all hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores to close between January 4th and 6th to “discourage Trump supporters from gathering.”

Truth: Only one hotel and one bar closed during the protests.

There have been no orders from the D.C. mayor to close establishments. Mayor Bowser has only placed restrictions on indoor dining but this is due to COVID-19 cases increasing in the city, not to the protests.

USA

Claim: CNN reported on an outbreak of cannibalism among recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine

Facts: An image looking to be a screenshot from CNN shows a bloody emergency room scene with a caption describing: “First COVID vaccine patients begin eating other patients.”

Truth: The CNN screenshot has been doctored. The original picture was shared on February 14th, 2019, by the New York Times to illustrate an opinion piece written by a medical student about victims of gun violence.

FRANCE

Claim: Vaccination will be compulsory at work

Facts: Posts shared on French social media declare that vaccination will be compulsory to go to work.

Messages like, "no way I will go to work vaccinated", "no vaccine, no job," or “since no one likes the vaccine, they are not going to lower unemployment,” can be read on social media, French news outlet RTL reports.

Truth: Last December, the French Minister of Labor Élisabeth Borne, said: "The President made it clear that there would not be compulsory vaccination, so companies will not be able to demand this from their employees." "A company cannot impose the vaccine," she added.

CANADA

Claim: Putin made an anti-Muslim speech in 2013

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a standing ovation at the Duma – the lower house of the Russian parliament – on August 4, 2013, after giving an anti-Muslim speech.

According to the posts, Putin said at the time: “In Russia we live like Russians. Any minority from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian, and should respect Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and live the life of Muslims then we advise them to go those places where that’s the state law.”

Truth: There is no evidence either in the official transcripts of Putin's public speeches, published on the official Kremlin website, or on news sites that suggests that Putin made the anti-Muslim speech shared on social media.

SINGAPORE

Claim: Device for sale turns the user's arm into “a mobile phone”

Facts: Video shared thousands of times on Facebook promotes a smart bracelet that would be available for sale in Singapore and Malaysia.

According to the posts, the device projects an interactive screen on the user's arm, transforming it into “a mobile phone.”

Truth: In a reverse image search AFP Fact Check found that the video was originally posted on October 30, 2014, on the YouTube page of the company Cicret Bracelet. The product, however, never made it to market and the company's page has not published anything new for at least 4 years. In 2015, Snopes analyzed the “concept video” and concluded that it mock-up images and not a real-life depiction of the bracelet.

BRAZIL

Claim: Pfizer CEO said he will not take Covid-19 vaccine produced by the company

Facts: An article published by the Brazilian website Boletim do Brasil and shared thousands of times on Facebook claims that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he will not take the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the company.

Truth: The article shared on social media refers to an interview published by CNN on December 14, 2020, in which Bourla stated that he had not yet been vaccinated and that the first doses should be given to the priority groups, formed by health professionals and nursing home residents. “We are very sensitive to not cut the queue,” declared Bourla, without saying anything about not taking the shot.

ARGENTINA

Claim: Covid-19 vaccination was suspended in Rosario due to adverse effects of Sputnik V

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook and WhatsApp claim that the Argentine city of Rosario has suspended the Covid-19 vaccination due to adverse effects of the Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the National Gamaleya Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia.

The different posts shared on social media are signed by the negationist group Doctors for the Truth Argentina.

Truth: The claim circulating on social media has been denied both by the Public Health Department of Rosario and by the Health Department of Santa Fé, the province where the city is located. Speaking to the Argentine fact-checking agency Chequeado, the Secretary of Public Health of Rosario, Leonardo Caruana, explained that “although there were adverse effects supposedly attributable to the vaccination, all the effects we had were produced in a minimal percentage of the people we vaccinated and, moreover, are effects described as common to other vaccines, such as fever, muscle pain or headaches.”

SPAIN

Claim: First person to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Spain dies 24 hours after taking the shot

Facts: Social media users shared an alleged screenshot of an article from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo announcing that Araceli Hidalgo, 96, the first person to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in Spain, died 24 hours after taking the shot.

Truth: In a statement to the Spanish fact-checking agency Newtral, the Secretariat for Social Welfare of Castilla-La Mancha, region where Araceli lives in a nursing home, confirmed that she did not die: “She is perfectly fine, she looks great.” In a statement published on December 29, 2020, El Mundo said that the image on social media was digitally manipulated and asked readers not to share it.

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