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

The term “climate change” has not been replaced by “climate crisis”

False claim: A post shared on Twitter claims that the term “climate change” is being replaced by “climate crisis” because there is no scientific proof that the climate has actually changed in recent decades. “Did you know they can no longer call it ‘climate change?’ Because the climate hasn’t even changed for the worst over the last two decades.

So instead they choose a fear driven statement such as ‘climate crisis’ so you stay in fear and they stay in control,” the post reads.

Truth:

  • Contrary to what the viral post claims, the term “climate change” continues to be used widely by the scientific community.
  • As proof of the current scientific consensus on climate change, a study published on October 19, 2021 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, analysing almost 90 thousand papers on the subject, shows that over 99.9% of the articles consider that climate change is a fact and is mostly caused by humans.
  • Scientific analyses published in recent years by institutions such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prove that each of the last four decades has successively been the warmest on record, that the temperature of the oceans has been constantly increasing and that the melting of the polar ice caps, as well as the rise of the sea level, have accelerated in recent years.

USA

Migrant caravan from Tapachula not the size of Minneapolis population

False claim: Twitter users shared a post by U.S.

Representative Mary Miller — Republican from Illinois — which she claims that hundreds of thousands of migrants are preparing to cross the border between Mexico and the United States. “The Biden-Harris caravan is the population of Minneapolis and will enter our country with no vetting, no criminal background checks, no COVID testing, and no vaccine requirements,” the Republican congresswoman tweeted.

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Truth:

  • According to the U.S. Census, the current population of the city of Minneapolis is around 430,000 people.
  • Press reports covering the trek, which started in the city of Tapachula, near the Mexico-Guatemala border, estimate that between 2,000 and 4,000 migrants are taking part in the caravan, including as many as 1,000 children.

Italy

There is no arrest warrant against Pope Francis

False claim: Facebook users in Italy have shared an alleged news article claiming that an international court has issued an arrest warrant against Pope Francis for crimes against humanity.

Truth:

  • The information shared on social media was originally published on the Murder by Decree website on November 1, 2021. According to the website, the alleged arrest warrant was issued by the International Common Law Court of Justice (ICLCJ). The ICLCJ, which is linked to the International Tribunal of Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS), has no legal standing.
  • According to the regional council of the United Church of Canada, both ICLCJ and ITCCS were created by Kevin Annett, a former pastor who was removed from his ministry in 1997 for spreading conspiracy theories. Murder by Decree, on its turn, is linked to both organisations.

Brazil

Covid vaccination has not led to an increase in the number of heart attacks in Israel

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared excerpts from a video in which two people claim that Israeli authorities have recently started using a series of motorcycles equipped with defibrillators to rescue an increasing number of people who suffer heart attacks after taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Truth:

  • In a statement to the Brazilian fact-checking agency Aos Fatos, Israel’s Ministry of Health declared that the information shared in the video is false.
  • Contrary to what is claimed in the video, the motorcycles and defibrillators cited are used by Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency medical and disaster service, since long before the beginning of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
  • Israel’s Ministry of Health also informed that there has not been an increase in the number of cases of heart attacks among young people after the country started vaccinating against COVID-19.

South Korea

It is false that a robot was designed to forcibly administer vaccines

False claim: Social media users in South Korea have shared a video alongside the claim that the clip shows a robot designed to forcibly administer vaccines to humans.

"Booster shot robot. If you refuse the vaccine it will shoot you dead immediately. Robot armies have spread across the United States and the world," reads the caption to some of the posts.

Truth:

  • A reverse image search shows that the video that appears to show a robot injecting a vaccine into a person at his residence was originally posted on the Chinese social media platform QQ on May 30, 2021.
  • The post was made by a user named Lin Gao-qing, who describes himself on the social media as “an unknown special effects blogger”.
  • In his account, Lin Gao-qing has published other videos with images of computer-generated robots.

Spain/Latin America

Image of a box of AstraZeneca vaccine dated July 2018 has been doctored

False claim: Social media users in Spain and Latin America have shared an image that allegedly shows a box of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca with a “2018.07.05” manufacturing date stamped on the side.

According to the posts, the image is a proof that the pandemic was planned.

Truth:

  • A reverse image search shows that the image was originally shared on Twitter in November 2020, in posts announcing that AstraZeneca vaccine was ready. The photo, however, does not feature any manufacturing date stamped on the box. The image that is now circulating on social media was doctored to include the date.
  • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine received first approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in December 2020.