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.


Image does not show anti-vaccine protest in Ottawa in 2022

False claim: Twitter and Facebook users shared a photo of a large crowd in a square, along with the claim that the image was allegedly taken recently in Ottawa, Canada's capital, during a demonstration in support of the so-called Freedom Convoy, a series of protests held by truck drivers in the country against health measures taken by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, in particular mandatory vaccination to cross the U.S.-Canada border.


  • A reverse image search shows that the image shared on social media was taken on March 10, 1991 during a demonstration in Moscow's Manezhnaya Square in support of Boris Yeltsin, who later became president of the Russian Federation from 1991 to 1999.
  • According to the website of the library of the French school of political science SciencesPo, about 500,000 people participated in the demonstration days before a referendum was held on the future of the Soviet Union.


5G networks do not cause 'flu-like' symptoms

False claim: Posts shared on social media claim that the radiation from 5G technology makes people sick with flu-like symptoms.


  • In a post on its website titled “Scientific Evidence for Mobile Phone Safety,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states: “To date, there is no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by the exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones.”
  • “While many of the specifics of 5G remain ill-defined, it is known that 5G cell phones will use frequencies covered by the current FCC exposure guidelines (300 kHz-100 GHz), and the conclusions reached based on the current body of scientific evidence covers these frequencies,” the agency concludes.
  • The false claims come amid heavy investment by U.S. telecom companies in deploying the infrastructure needed for 5G roll out, and as the country faces the Covid-19 pandemic, which in many cases causes flu-like symptoms.


Whoopi Goldberg wrongly claims the Holocaust was “not about race”

False claim: On Monday’s episode of ABC’s “The View”, actress and co-host Whoopi Goldberg claimed that the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust was “not about race.” “Let’s be truthful, the Holocaust isn’t about race, it’s not.

It’s about man’s inhumanity to man, that’s what it’s about. These are two groups of white people,” Goldberg said during a discussion about a Tennessee school district’s decision to ban “Maus,” a Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust.


  • Amid the debate over Whoopi Goldberg's statement, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum posted the following message on its Twitter account: “Racism was central to Nazi ideology. Jews were not defined by religion, but by race. Nazi racist beliefs fueled genocide and mass murder.”
  • On Tuesday's episode of “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg apologized: “I said that the Holocaust wasn’t about race and was instead about man’s inhumanity to man, but it is indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race. I regret my comments, as I said, and I stand corrected.” She has since been suspended for two weeks to “take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments,” according to a statement from Kate Godwin, president at ABC News.

Latin America

Spain did not approve ID for dogs and cats

False claim: Facebook users in Latin America have shared posts claiming that Spanish authorities approved on January 5, 2022 the creation of a mandatory identity document for dogs and cats.

The posts are followed by an alleged ID card, similar to the one issued for people, but with a picture of a dog.


  • On January 5, 2022 came into force in Spain the law 17/2021, which changes the legal regime for pets. The new law, however, does not create a mandatory identity document for dogs and cats.
  • In a tweet on January 5, the Spanish Ministry of Social Rights said: “Today the modification of the Civil Code comes into force, which no longer considers animals as ‘things’ but as ‘sentient beings’. This, together with the future Law of Animal Protection, represents a great step forward for animal welfare in our country.”


It is false that Taliban has banned the use of cell phones in Afghanistan

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared a video that shows military personnel destroying electronic devices.

The posts are followed by the claim that the images were recorded in Afghanistan, after the Taliban imposed a new law that punishes with death penalty anyone caught with a cell phone in the country.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media was recorded in December 2021 in Pakistan.
  • In the clip, it is possible to see the Pakistan flag on the uniforms of the military personnel.
  • The video was shared in December 2021 by several local media outlets on reports about the destruction of smuggled goods by customs officials in Karachi.


Image does not show a sword that belonged to the prophet Mohammed

False claim: Facebook users in Bangladesh shared an image of an ancient sword on display in a museum, alongside the claim that the item allegedly belonged to the prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam.


  • The sword shown in the image is part of the collection of the National Library of France (BnF) in Paris.
  • According to BnF, the item is a “Boabdil sword,” made in the Spanish city of Toledo around 1480, during the rule of the Muslim Nasrid dynasty, long after the death of the prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.
  • An Arabic inscription on the sword reads “Only Allah is victorious,” the motto of the Nasrid dynasty.