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.

Italy

COVID-19 vaccines do not affect fertility

False claim: In an interview with Italian broadcaster La7 on June 12, journalist Fabio Tamburini, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, said he does not support the vaccination of children against COVID-19 due, according to him, to uncertainties about the effects of the vaccines on fertility. “I’m absolutely in favor of mandatory vaccination, but not for children.

There’s a serious problem here related to fertility. There are unknowns. There are still question marks. So, certainly mandatory vaccination for school staff, certainly for healthcare workers, but I would leave children aside, because we still know too little,” Tamburini said.

Truth:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there is no evidence whatsoever that COVID-19 vaccines can cause fertility problems.
  • "There is​ ​no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women's fertility," Dr Edward Morris, president at the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said in a statement.
  • Confusion over the issue arose after an article falsely said that the spike protein on this Coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncytin-1, which is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The two spike proteins, however, are completely different.

Italy/UK

Video taken at Wembley does not show violence against Italian fans

False claim: A video recorded at Wembley stadium during the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England on July 11 2021 was shared by several Italian newspapers and politicians claiming that the footage shows English fans attacking Italian fans.

Truth:

  • The video shows paying supporters strongly rejecting other people who try to sneak into the stadium before the match starts.
  • The person shown in the video with the blue jersey is actually wearing the England away shirt, and not the Italian one.
  • London police said in a statement that some fans tried to enter the stadium without tickets.
  • Mark Bullingham, CEO of the English Football Association, said that they were "drunken hooligans", without ever mentioning alleged violence against Italian fans.

Latin America/Spain

Photo does not show Raúl Castro landing in Venezuela after fleeing Cuba

False claim: Posts shared on social media accounts in Latin America and Spain display a photo of former Cuban president Raúl Castro getting off a plane along with the claim that the image shows Fidel Castro's brother arriving in Caracas, Venezuela, after having fled Cuba.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Truth:

  • A reverse image search shows that the photo shared on social media is actually from January 2015 and shows Raúl Castro arriving in Costa Rica to attend the III CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Summit.
  • Reports from various media outlets published at the time display the same photo shared on social media.
  • The official Twitter account of the Cuban Foreign Ministry also published on January 27, 2015 images of Raúl Castro getting off the plane in Costa Rica.
  • The rumor comes after protests were registered in Cuba last Sunday, July 11, against food and medicine shortages.

USA

Trump's claim that “there were no guns whatsoever” at the Capitol riot on January 6 is false

False claim: In an interview with Fox News on July 11, Donald Trump claimed that “there were no guns whatsoever” in the insurrection at the U.S.

Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Truth:

  • PolitiFact has reviewed the case files of about 430 defendants who were arrested and charged for the Capitol invasion, and in several cases there is a record that they have brought firearms with them.
  • According to police reports, in addition to firearms, other items used as weapons on January 6 included bats, flagpoles, skateboards, fire extinguishers and chemical sprays.
  • The violent attack on the Capitol, carried out by Trump supporters who sought to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win, left a toll of five people dead, including a police officer.

World

Portuguese court has not said there have only been 152 COVID deaths in the country

False claim: Articles published on various news websites and shared on social media claim that, according to a report by the Administrative Court of the Lisbon Circuit, between January 2020 and April 2021, only 152 people died from COVID-19 in Portugal, rather than the more than 17,000 officially reported by the Portuguese government.

Truth:

  • On May 19, in responding to a request for information on a number of questions related to Covid-19, the Administrative Court of the Lisbon Circuit said that on searching the Portuguese death certificate information system, it found that doctors employed by the Ministry of Justice had recorded 152 deaths as caused by COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Most of the deaths in the country, however, are not recorded by doctors employed by the Ministry of Justice, but by doctors from the Ministry of Health.
  • Portugal's Ministry of Health, on its turn, has recorded 17,077 Covid-19 deaths in the country as of June 23.

Kenya/Nigeria

Image of a giant skeleton in a cave in Thailand is an artwork

False claim: Posts shared on Facebook accounts in Kenya and Nigeria claim to show a photo of the skeleton of a giant killed by a serpent in a cave in Thailand.

According to some of the posts, the discovery is said to have occurred in November 2017, but only made public recently.

Truth:

  • A reverse image search shows that articles published in November 2018 display the same image of the giant skeleton, along with the claim that it is actually a sculpture by Taiwanese artist Tu Wei-Cheng.
  • The artwork was created to be displayed at the Thailand Biennale, which took place in the southern province of Krabi from November 2, 2018, to February 28, 2019.
  • In November 2018, Tu shared on his Facebook page images of him and his team working on the skeleton in the cave.