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.


Claim: McDonald’s and Coca-Cola announced no white people will be hired in top positions

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim that McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have announced that they will no longer hire white people for top positions.

Truth: In a statement to PolitiFact, McDonald’s denied having any policy like the one shared in the posts. Cola-Cola, on its turn, told Check Your Fact that the claim is false.

Recently, both McDonald’s and Coca-Cola announced efforts to promote diversity among their employees, but none of the companies talk about bans on hiring white people.


Claim: Prince Philip dressed as a palace guard to prank Queen Elizabeth II

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim to show an image of Queen Elizabeth II laughing after Prince Philip, husband of the British monarch, pranked her dressed as a palace guard. Most of the posts were shared to pay respect to Prince Philip, who passed away on 9 April, at the age of 99.

Truth: A reverse image search on the internet shows that the image was taken in 2003 by Associated Press photographer Chris Young. The photo shows the prince and the queen just before a ceremony at Windsor Castle. The caption on the image explains that the queen is laughing at a swarm of bees, and not at Prince Philip, who wore that ceremonial dress on several other occasions.


Claim: Black threads in face masks are “worms” or “parasites”

Facts: Videos shared on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok claim that small black threads found in face masks are actually “worms” or “parasites.” In the images, after the masks are placed over a bowl of steaming water, the small black threads purportedly start to move.

Truth: In an interview with AFP, Jana Nebesarova, an assistant professor in the electron microscopy laboratory at the Biological Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences, said: “Most likely they are pieces of fabric. The air is full of these fabric fragments which float around freely together with pollen, mould, parts of dead cells from our skin, microscopic parts of earth etc.”


Claim: Photo shows Russian President Vladimir Putin's mansion in Sochi

Facts: Facebook posts share images of an alleged futuristic mansion built in the middle of a forest in the city of Sochi, on the shores of the Black Sea, along with the claim that it is owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Truth: A reverse image search on the internet shows that the images shared on social media are actually a digital creation by the Russian architect Roman Vlasov.

Speaking to Check Your Fact, Vlasov said the project was just his vision of a home for Putin.


Claim: Video shows alleged COVID-19 victim alive in coffin

Facts: A video of an alleged victim of COVID-19 circulates on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp groups together with the claim that the woman was alive in the coffin, moments before being buried. In the video, recorded on March 26, 2021, at the Dom Bosco cemetery, in São Paulo, Brazil, the victim's family and friends open the coffin with the woman inside and claim that she is still breathing.

Truth: According to the São Paulo State Department of Health, Maria Aparecida Ribeiro died on March 23, 2021, of “pleural effusion, heart failure and septicemia.” Due to a suspicion of Covid-19, the woman's funeral was not allowed, sparking rage among family members and friends.

After the burial, in an interview with Portal Jaraguá, one of Maria Aparecida's grandchildren admitted that the reaction of family and friends was due to strong emotions and that they were wrong to claim that the woman was still alive in the coffin. Exams concluded later that Maria Aparecida was not with Covid-19.


Claim: Swabs used in PCR tests contain “a potent carcinogen”

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook and Instagram claim that the swabs used in the PCR tests for detecting Covid-19 are sterilized with ethylene oxide, “a potent carcinogen.”

Truth: The FDA approves the use of ethylene oxide for the sterilization of medical products.

According to the agency, “more than 20 billion devices sold in the U.S. every year are sterilized with ethylene oxide, accounting for approximately 50 percent of devices that require sterilization.” FDA, however, has a series of standards that must be followed to ensure “levels of ethylene oxide on medical devices are within safe limits.”