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

20-year-old woman has not been selected to be the first human to go to Mars

Facts: Posts shared on social media claim that a 20-year-old woman called Alyssa Carson is preparing to become the first human to go to Mars. “Meet Alyssa Carson, She can’t get married, She can’t have kids. She is preparing to become the first human on Mars and She will never return to Earth,” reads the posts.

Truth: According to information on her official website, Alyssa Carson does indeed have ambitions to become an astronaut and participate in the space program that will take the first humans to Mars. In a statement to Reuters, however, Nasa informed that it currently has no

“formal relationship with Ms. Carson” and that crew assignments for Mars missions also have not yet been made.

World

Worldwide internet outage was not caused by a cyber attack

Facts: A post shared on Twitter claims that the global internet blackout that knocked out some of the world's biggest websites on Tuesday, June 8, was caused by a cyber attack.

With the logo of pages such as Reddit, Amazon and CNN, the post reads: "As a result of a massive hacker attack that occurred a few minutes ago, many affected sites are now offline. The intensity of the attack is not yet clear, but many popular pages, social networks and government sites are compromised."

Truth: Contrary to what the post shared on social media claims, the problem was caused by a bug in the servers of the cloud computing company Fastly, which hosts sites such as Amazon, The New York Times, and the U.K.

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government's official website. In a post on its official Twitter profile shortly after the problem was detected, the company said: “We identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across our POPs globally and have disabled that configuration. Our global network is coming back online.”

South Korea

NYT journalist did not say Trump will be reinstated as U.S.

president by August

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook cite a tweet by The New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman to claim that Donald Trump will be “reinstated” as U.S. president by August 2021.

Truth: In a statement to AFP, Haberman denied the information shared on social media. On her Twitter account, the journalist had only posted the following message on the subject: “Trump has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August (no that isn’t how it works but simply sharing the information).” Trump lost the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Joe Biden and, according to the U.S. Constitution, can only return to the White House if he wins a new election.

Spain/Argentina

Finland has not passed any new law punishing journalists who spread Fake News with prison sentences

Facts: A post shared on Facebook claims that Finland has recently passed a new media law that punishes journalists who spread fake news with prison sentences. The post even claims that dozens of journalists have already been arrested in the country based on this new law.

Truth: In a statement to the Spanish fact-checking agency Newtral, the communication department of the Finnish Ministry of Justice assured that no such law has been recently passed in the country and that no journalists have been arrested for spreading fake news either.

Peru

It is false that electoral report with 100% of votes for Pedro Castillo indicate fraud in Peru election

Facts: A post on Facebook shares an image of an electoral report with 100% of the votes for Pedro Castillo, who challenged Keiko Fujimori in Peru's runoff presidential election, and claims that this would be proof of electoral fraud.

Truth: First, the electoral report is a document that contains the votes from each polling station in the voting centers in Peru. The report shown in the image of the post belong to the region of Cajamarca, San Ignacio province, Huarango district, where there were six polling stations. The document specifically belongs to polling station number 013376, where there were 300 registered voters, only 187 of whom showed up. On its official Twitter account, Peru's National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) reported: “there is no room for doubt about the numbers of votes recorded in the electoral reports. This document is signed by all three members of the table. Furthermore, there is no observation by any of the parties.”

Africa

African leaders were not killed for opposing COVID-19 vaccination

Facts: A post shared on Facebook claims that four African leaders who have died in recent months were actually murdered for opposing COVID-19 vaccination.

The post shows the faces of John Magufuli, president of Tanzania; Hamed Bakayoko, prime minister of Ivory Coast; Ambrose Dlamini, prime minister of eSwatini; and Pierre Nkurunziza, president of Burundi.

Truth: Contrary to what the post shared on social media claims, none of the four politicians were killed. John Magufuli, a COVID-19 skeptic, died on March 17, 2021, at the age of 61. Although a heart problem was officially named as the cause of the Tanzanian president's death, some opposition politicians had suggested he contracted COVID-19. Hamed Bakayoko, who was not a pandemic denier and sought vaccines to immunize the people of Ivory Coast, died on March 11, 2021, at the age of 56, from cancer.

He was in a hospital in the German city of Freiburg. Ambrose Dlamini died on December 13, 2020, at the age of 52, two weeks after contracting COVID-19. The eSwatini prime minister was not a pandemic denier and fought for the implementation of measures to combat COVID-19 in his country. Finally, Pierre Nkurunziza died on June 8, 2020, at the age of 55. Officially, the Burundian president's death was caused by a heart attack.