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.


Girl was not arrested in NYC museum for not having COVID passport

False claim: Posts shared on social media claim that a 9-year-old girl was arrested at the Natural History Museum in New York City for not showing a proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Some of the posts are followed by a video showing the young girl being escorted by police officers.


  • According to the NYPD, on January 19, 2022 a group of people were denied entry to the museum for refusing to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • The group – consisting of six adults and one child – began a protest against the measure and refused to leave the site, even after the 5:30 pm closing time. According to the museum, officers were called to the location and arrested the six adults.
  • NYPD states that the 9-year-old girl, daughter of one of the protesters, was not arrested, but just escorted to stay close to her mother.


BBC News did not claim that nuclear war is imminent between Russia and NATO

False claim: Social media users shared an alleged BBC News video report claiming that nuclear war is imminent between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).


  • A reverse image search shows that the video started to be shared on social media in early 2018.
  • In a tweet on April 19, 2018 the BBC said the video is “fake and does not come from the BBC”.
  • On the same day, the BBC published an article claiming that the video was produced in 2016 by an Irish company called Benchmarking Assessment Group “as a psychometric test for their clients to see how they'd react in a disaster scenario.”
  • The false claim resurfaces amid rising tension in Eastern Europe, as the West fears Russia is about to attack Ukraine.


Americans are not '7% poorer' after the first year of Biden’s administration

False claim: During an appearance on the January 16 edition of NBC's “Meet the Press”, Senator Mitt Romney criticized President Joe Biden's stewardship of the economy and said: “People are 7 percent poorer now because of Biden's inflation.”


  • Official data indeed shows that the inflation rate was 7% during 2021. However, that’s not enough to state that Americans are “7% poorer”, because it leaves out another important part of the equation: rising incomes.
  • According to data from the Department of Labor, between December 2020 and December 2021, the average hourly earnings for private employees rose by 4.7%, reducing the impact on the typical worker by about two-thirds.


Britain’s COVID-19 vaccine programme is not under criminal investigation

False claim: Posts shared on social media claim that Britain’s COVID-19 vaccine programme is under criminal investigation and that London’s Metropolitan Police is shutting down vaccination centers.

The posts also claim that a crime reference number (6029679/21) was issued on 20 December, 2021.


  • In a statement to the press, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that a crime reference number was created following “allegations of criminality in relation to the U.K.’s vaccine programme”.
  • However, according to the Metropolitan Police, “this is not an indication that an investigation is under way or that a crime has been committed, it merely acknowledges that an allegation has been received and recorded”.
  • Metropolitan Police also stated that “no vaccine centres have been shut down”.

Latin America

COVID-19 did not disappear in Africa with only 6% of its population vaccinated

False claim: Posts shared by Facebook and Twitter users in Latin America claim that scientists are puzzled by the alleged end of the COVID-19 pandemic in African, despite only 6% of the local population having been vaccinated.


  • According to Our World in Data, as of January 22, 16% of the African population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The continent reached 6% of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine on October 5, 2021 and reached 6% of the population with two doses on November 1.
  • On November 3, according to Reuters, the continent registered 6,926 new cases of COVID-19.
  • On 24 January, according to Reuters, there were 12,383 new cases of COVID-19 in Africa, showing that the pandemic is still far from ending in the continent.

South Africa

Durex did not invent a “reversible” condom

False claim: Facebook and Twitter users in South Africa shared an image of an alleged box of Durex “reversible” condoms with the following phrases printed on the packaging: “like 2 condoms in one” and “two-sided condoms for repeated use.”


  • A reverse image search shows that the claim was originally published in an article by satirical website News Spoilers, which describes itself on its Twitter account as “pre-news for a post-truth era”.
  • According to the satirical article, the image allegedly leaked after a Durex product engineer forgot the box of a reversible prototype in the toilet of a bar.
  • In a statement to AFP, Andrea Riepe, a spokeswoman for Reckitt, which owns the Durex brand, said: “We are aware of fabricated imagery and false reports stating that Durex has created a reversible condom. Durex condoms are designed to be used once and disposed of – incorrect use diminishes the protective effect of condoms”.