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

Fauci did not say there will be “two Americas”, one for vaccinated, one for unvaccinated

False claim: Posts shared on Instagram and Twitter claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci reportedly commented in an interview that there will be "two Americas”, one for people vaccinated against COVID-19, and one for unvaccinated people.

True:

  • The claim shared on social media takes Fauci’s words out of context.
  • In an interview with CNN on June 29, 2021 when asked whether the delta variant of the coronavirus could drive new outbreaks of Covid-19 in states that have recorded lower vaccination rates, Fauci replied that he fears those states will be hit harder than more heavily vaccinated states.
  • “When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among undervaccinated regions — be they states, cities or counties — you are going to see these individual types of blips. It's almost like it's going to be two Americas. You're going to have areas where the vaccine rate is high, where more than 70% of the population has received at least one dose. When you compare that with areas where you may have 35% of the people vaccinated, you clearly have a high risk of seeing these spikes in those selected areas,” Fauci said.

Haiti

Photo does not show Haitian president Jovenel Moïse after his assassination

False claim: Photo shared on WhatsApp groups claims to show the body of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, who was assassinated in the early hours of last Wednesday after armed men stormed his residence in Port-au-Prince, the country's capital.

True:

  • According to AP, the shared photo was taken by one of its photographers and shows a demonstration that took place in September 2020, in which protesters demanded justice for Monferrier Dorval, a prominent lawyer who was killed outside his home days before.
  • The image shows a demonstrator reenacting the lawyer's death, with his body covered by pictures of Dorval dead.
  • First lady Martine Moïse was also shot in the attack and taken to a hospital in Miami for treatment. Haitian officials say four suspects have been killed and six others arrested.

South Africa

It is false that South Africa president and his vice fled the country after former leader Jacob Zuma was sentenced to prison

False claim: A post shared on Facebook claims that South Africa president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and his vice president, David Mabuza, fled the country after former leader Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

“The momentum is drifting towards Msholozi (Zuma), the people’s president,” reads the caption.

Truth:

  • By the time the post was published, both Ramaphosa and Mabuza were already out of the country.
  • Ramaphosa was in Lusaka, where he attended the funeral of former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, who died on June 17, 2021, at the age of 97.
  • Mabuza, according to official reports, requested to take leave on June 26 and traveled to Russia for undisclosed medical treatment.
  • Former South African President Jacob Zuma, 79, resigned from office in 2018 after almost nine years in power amid mounting corruption scandals. On June 29 he was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court after failing to appear before a corruption inquiry earlier this year.

Malaysia

Malaysian government is not offering different COVID vaccines to Muslims and non-Muslims

False claim: A photo of an excerpt from a newspaper article was widely shared on Facebook and Twitter alongside the claim that the minister responsible for fighting coronavirus in Malaysia said in an interview that Muslims and non-Muslims would be given different brands of Covid-19 vaccines.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Truth:

  • The image of the article shared on social media is legit. As published by Malaysian newspaper The Star in its print edition on May 28, 2021 Khairy Jamaluddin, the Malaysian coordinating minister for Covid-19 immunisation, reportedly said that “Muslims are given the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine while non-Muslims are given the Sinovac vaccine.”
  • The newspaper, however, published a correction of the article on the same day.
  • “In the article, we inadvertently omitted the words ‘strongly denied’ in a quote attributed to National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin. The line should have read ‘He strongly denied claims that Muslims are given the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine while non-Muslims are given the Sinovac vaccine,’” informed The Star.
  • The claim that different brand vaccines would be given to Muslims and non-Muslims was also denied by Khairy Jamaluddin.

Brazil

It is false that Chile's president declared war on socialists and communists

False claim: Posts shared on Facebook claim that Chilean President Sebastián Piñera declared war on socialists and communists and received the support of the country's armed forces.

Truth:

  • The claim shared on social media is false and takes out of context a statement made by Piñera on October 20, 2019, in which the Chilean president claimed to be “at war against a powerful and implacable enemy.”
  • Piñera's speech was aimed at groups promoting a wave of protests in the country's streets.
  • The Chilean president, however, never said he was referring to socialists or communists.
  • “This is not a problem of left, of right, of ideology. This is a very simple problem: between those who want freedom, democracy, and a life in peace, and those who want to destroy our country. We will win that battle,” Piñera said on the occasion.

World

Video does not show Cristiano Ronaldo refusing to shake hands with Israeli man as a sign of support for Palestinians

False claim: A video of Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has been shared thousands of times on social media along with the claim that the images show him refusing to shake hands with an Israeli man as a sign of solidarity with Palestinians.

Truth:

  • A reverse image search shows that the video was originally posted on Twitter on December 22, 2019, on the Britain-based broadcaster BT Sport’s account.
  • The video shows Ronaldo taking off his silver medal after his team Juventus lost the final of the Italian Super Cup, in a match in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
  • Contrary to what social media posts claim, the man who tries to shake hands with Cristiano Ronaldo is not an Israeli, but Luca Ferrari, who served as Italian ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2016 to 2019.