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.

World

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not give Hamas a 24-hour ultimatum

Facts: Posts on social media have shared an alleged speech delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he allegedly gave Hamas a 24-hour ultimatum. The rumor comes amid an escalation of violence between Israel and Palestinian territories that has left more than 100 people dead and 500 injured since last Friday (7).

Truth: According to Snopes, the text shared on social media started circulating on the internet in 2014. In May of that year, three Israeli teenagers had gone missing, and Netanyahu claimed at the time that they had been kidnapped by the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. On July 8, 2014 a blogger named Shaun B. published Netanyahu's fake speech, which has been shared on the internet ever since. At the end of his publication, however, the author warned about the fictitious content of the text saying: “and then I awoke, and it was all a dream.”

USA

It is false that NASA rover photos indicate that fungi are growing on Mars

Facts: Posts shared on social media claim that a group of scientists announced they have found evidence of fungi growing on Mars by analyzing photos taken by NASA's Curiosity rover on the red planet.

Truth: The study to which the posts refer is a paper published this month on the ResearchGate website with the title “Fungi on Mars? Evidence of Growth and Behavior From Sequential Images.” “Sequential photos document that fungus-like Martian specimens emerge from the soil and increase in size, including those resembling puffballs,” reads the paper, whose conclusion, however, acknowledges that the changes captured in the images could be caused by “minerals, weathering and unknown geological forces that are unique to Mars.” Speaking to PolitiFact, Dr.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Edwin Kite, an assistant professor in the department of the geophysical sciences and a planetary geoscientist and Mars expert at the University of Chicago, said: “These features are well understood. They are abiotic features caused by saltation abrasion [wind erosion]. Numerous examples have been inspected by rovers [...] They are not fungi.”

United Kingdom

BBC did not edit the headline of a Scottish newspaper about election result

Facts: Posts on Twitter claim that the BBC has deliberately changed on its website the headline of the May 9 edition of The Herald newspaper about the Scottish parliamentary election results from "Landslide" to "Split Decision".

Truth: Contrary to what people on social media are claiming, the BBC did not change the headline of The Herald, but only reproduced on its website the first edition released by the newspaper that day, which had the headline "Split Decision". Later that day, as it is common with many newspapers, The Herald ended up updating the front page and putting the new headline "Landslide". On Twitter, Herald’s deputy editor Bill Bain justified the change saying: “‘Split decision’ was a pun to signify the potential split from the union, not the vote itself - but such a pun can perhaps be too ambiguous.”

Spain

U.K.

has not acknowledged that there is a “resurgence” of deaths due to vaccinated people

Facts: An article shared on social media claims that “the British government has acknowledged in an official document that the resurgence in both hospitalizations and deaths is dominated by those who received two doses of the vaccine.”

Truth: The article, however, is based on a sentence taken out of context from a report published on the British government's website last April 5. The document does not say that there is currently a "resurgence" of Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations in the country among people who received the two doses of the vaccine, but rather estimates that in a few months serious cases of the disease will be detected in vaccinated people, because although the effectiveness of the vaccines is very high, it is not 100%.

Brazil

It is false that Pfizer warned that its Covid-19 vaccine could cause fetal malformations

Facts: A video shared on social media claims that Pfizer has warned everyone taking its Covid-19 vaccine to avoid unprotected sex and the chance of pregnancy due to the risk of fetus malformation.

Truth: The excerpt read in the video is actually only a requirement made to the volunteers in the vaccine testing period, a standard procedure in accordance with international recommendations.

In an interview with Brazilian fact-checking agency Fato ou Fake, Fiocruz Pernambuco researcher and doctor in molecular biology Rafael Dhália states that, after the vaccine approval, this safety recommendation cease to exist.

Latin America

Colombian President did not threaten to “cancel” Facebook in the country amid protests

Facts: Social media posts have shared an alleged screenshot of a tweet from Colombian President Iván Duque in which he threatens to “cancel” Facebook if “disinformation” continues to circulate amid the general strike and anti-government protests taking place in the country in recent weeks.

Truth: According to ColombiaCheck, the shared image has been doctored and there is no record of the Colombian president posting that message on any of his official social media accounts.

In a post on its official Twitter account, the Presidency of Colombia informed that “it has never been an initiative of the National Government to remove the internet or promote the closure of any social media in our country.”