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

Jeff Bezos’ flight to space did not release 330 tons of carbon dioxide into the air

False claim: Posts shared on Twitter claim that the flight that took billionaire and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and three other people into space on July 20 emitted about 330 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Truth:

  • While conventional rocket fuels do indeed emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, the BE-3 engine, developed by Bezos' space tourism company Blue Origin, burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
  • In an interview with Politifact, Eloise Marais, an air pollution researcher at University College London, said that carbon dioxide is not emitted from the Blue Origin rocket that was used this week.
  • Other space tourism companies, such as SpaceX, controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic, which took its owner and fellow billionaire Richard Branson into space a week before Bezos, use conventional fuels in their rockets and, therefore, release carbon dioxide.
  • Despite not emitting carbon dioxide, Marais warns that Blue Origin's rocket, like the others, poses a threat to the ozone layer.

World

Tokyo 2020 Olympic village does not have 'anti-sex' beds

False claim: Posts shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok claim that Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games organizers have placed "anti-sex" beds in the Olympic village to discourage intimacy among athletes and promote social distancing amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The posts also claim that the beds, made of cardboard, can hold the weight of only one person.

Truth:

  • The beds were officially unveiled to the public in January 2020, before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11.
  • According to the manufacturer Airweave, the cardboard beds are strong enough to withstand a weight of 200 kilos (440 pounds).
  • After the false claim started circulating on social media, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan posted a video of himself repeatedly jumping on one of the beds without it breaking.
  • According to Olympic organizers, the beds were designed from recyclable cardboard to show Tokyo 2020's commitment towards sustainability.

World

It is fake the image of a submerged car in Germany with a sticker insulting Greta Thunberg

False claim: An image shared on social media shows a car partially submerged after heavy rains in Germany and with a sticker on the rear window insulting climate activist Greta Thunberg.

“Fu** you Greta”, says the message.

Truth:

  • A reverse image search shows that the photo was taken by freelance photographer David Young and was used in articles about the heavy rains and flooding that hit Germany in recent days, including a story published by the Bild newspaper on July 16.
  • The original image, unlike the one shared on social media, shows that the vehicle had no sticker attached to the rear window.
  • In an interview with the Brazilian website G1, David Young confirmed that the image shared on social media was doctored. “There was no Greta sticker on the car. Someone thought it would be funny to make a joke,” he said.

USA

Biden did not announce that unvaccinated Americans will be sent to “quarantine camps”

False claim: Posts on Instagram and TikTok share a news story claiming that President Joe Biden has announced that Americans who do not receive Covid-19 shots by 2022 will be sent to “quarantine camps.” According to the article, people would remain detained indefinitely until they get their shots.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Truth:

  • The article shared on social media was published on ValueWalk.com on June 21, 2021. At the end of the text, there is the following disclaimer: “this is a satirical article.”
  • The story was originally published on June 17, 2021 on TheStonkMarket.com, which describes itself as a “financial satire site.”
  • The U.S. Department of Defense called “not accurate” the claim that unvaccinated people will be sent to “quarantine camps.”

Argentina/Spain

Macron did not say he would not “sacrifice” his life for those who refuse to be vaccinated

False claim: Posts shared on Facebook and Twitter claim that French President Emmanuel Macron made the following remark during a recent speech: “I have no intention of sacrificing my life, my time, my freedom and the adolescence of my daughters and their right to a proper education for those who refuse to be vaccinated.

This time you stay home, not us.”

Truth:

  • In a speech on July 12, 2021 Macron announced tough measures to combat the Delta variant of the coronavirus in France and argued that vaccination against Covid-19 “remains the only way to protect yourself and others” and that vaccinating all French people “is the only way to return to normal life.”
  • The French president, however, at no point in his speech made the remark that has been shared on social media.
  • In a statement to the Spanish fact-checking agency Newtral, the French government's communication department and the French embassy in Spain confirmed that Macron did not say what has been shared either during his speech on July 12 or at any other time since the pandemic began.
  • The French president and his wife, Brigitte Macron, have no children. Brigitte's daughters with her ex-husband, meanwhile, are 40 and 36 years old.

Nigeria

Nigeria has not introduced new 5,000 and 2,000 bills

False claim: Video shared on Facebook claims to show new 5,000 and 2,000 naira bill, which were allegedly released by the Central Bank of Nigeria amid high inflation rates in the country.

Truth:

  • A reverse image search shows that the false claim has been circulating on the internet since January 2020.
  • In June 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria addressed the rumor, saying: “Videos and pictures of purported circulation of N2,000 and N5,000 banknotes are false and fake.”
  • According to information from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the naira is currently available in eight different bills: N5, N10, N20, N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1,000.