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

USA

Claim: Photo shows evangelicals worshipping Trump statue

Facts: Posts on Twitter and Facebook shared an alleged image of evangelical leaders praying around a golden statue of former President of the United States Donald Trump. According to the posts, the photo was reportedly taken last February during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida.

Truth: A reverse image search shows that the photo was doctored to include the gold statue of Trump. The original photo, taken in January 2020 by Associated Press photographer Lynne Sladky, shows a group of religious leaders praying around then-President Donald Trump during an “Evangelicals for Trump” campaign event in Miami, Florida.

USA

Claim: Nancy Pelosi rejected appeals for troops to secure U.S.

Capitol

Facts: Facebook posts claim that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused six pleas from the sergeant at arms for National Guard troops to be deployed at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, when then-President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an action that resulted in the deaths of five people.

Truth: The pleas were actually made by Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and his Senate counterpart Michael Stenger.

“The Speaker’s Office has made it clear publicly and repeatedly that our office was not consulted or contacted concerning any request for the National Guard ahead of January 6th,” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, told AFP.

Brazil

Claim: Covid-19 vaccines caused 600 cases of eye disease and left 5 people blind in the UK

Facts: Posts shared on social media claim that, according to British government data, vaccines against Covid-19 have already caused more than 600 cases of eye disease in the UK, five of which got blind.

Truth: The posts use as a source for this statement data from the Yellow Card scheme of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The posts, however, omit that Yellow Cards is actually an open platform, where citizens can freely insert reports about possible adverse effects of vaccines. “The nature of Yellow Card reporting means that reported events are not always proven side effects. Some events may have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination. This is particularly the case when millions of people are vaccinated, and especially when most vaccines are being given to the most elderly people and people who have underlying illness,” MHRA said in a statement.

Portugal

Claim: Cold wave in Texas shows that global warming does not exist

Facts: Facebook posts questioned global warming after a historic cold wave hit Texas.

Truth: In an interview with the fact-checking service of the Portuguese newspaper Observador, the president of the National Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development of Portugal, Filipe Duarte Santos, says that, due to climate change, the greater absorption of solar energy in the Arctic has led to the release of large amounts of cold air, in a phenomenon known as "jet stream", which can reach latitudes further away from the pole.

Spain

Claim: Images show Notre-Dame’s new glass roof

Facts: Images shared on Facebook and Twitter claim to show an alleged new glass roof of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, destroyed by a fire in 2019.

Truth: Contrary to what the posts claim, the shared images correspond only to a proposal made by an architecture studio in the Netherlands. In a statement to AFP, Michel Picaud, president of Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris, in charge of raising funds for the restoration of the cathedral, denied that the images shared on social media are from the current roof of the church or the project chosen for the restoration. According to him, the roof of the cathedral will be rebuilt in the same way as it was before the fire.

Myanmar

Claim: UN ‘declared war’ on Myanmar after military coup

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim that the United Nations “declared war” on Myanmar, four weeks after a military coup in the Southeast Asian country.

The posts, which show images of troops and military aircraft, claim that 180 countries, including the USA, are part of the UN-led coalition.

Truth: In a statement to AFP, Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, denied the information shared on social media. “We have repeatedly called on the military authorities to reverse their actions and restore the democratically expressed will of the people. However, we have never called for a ‘war’ on the military,” he said. As for the images in the posts, a reverse search shows that they were taken in 2012 and 2015.

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