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.


U.S. lawmakers did not give themselves a 21% pay raise

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared the claim that members of the U.S. Congress reportedly gave themselves a 21% pay raise as part of a $1.5 trillion spending package in 2022.


  • On March 10, one day after being approved by the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate passed a spending package providing $1.5 trillion to fund the federal government through September 30.
  • The legislation, available on the U.S. Congress website, includes a 21% increase – $134 million – to the budget of the Members' Representational Allowance (MRA), bringing it to $774 million.
  • The MRA “funds the House office budgets for lawmakers, including staffer salaries”, but cannot be used directly by lawmakers.
  • The annual salary of members of the Congress has been frozen at $174,000 since 2009. Only lawmakers in leadership positions receive higher salaries.

Spain/Latin America

NASA has not announced that an asteroid will destroy the Earth on May 6

False claim: Social media users in Spain and Latin America have shared the claim that NASA set a date for the end of the world.

According to the posts, the space agency announced that on May 6 a 426-foot-wide (130-meters) asteroid named 2009 JF1 will hit Earth, leading to the destruction of the planet.


  • There is no record on Nasa's website or social media accounts about an asteroid impact leading to the destruction of the Earth next May.
  • According to Sentry, an asteroid monitoring system linked to Nasa, the 2009 JF1 is actually approximately 32-foot-wide (10-meters) and its chance of hitting Earth is only 0.00074%, or 1 in 140,000.


It is false that Pfizer paid $2.8 million for FDA to approve COVID-19 vaccine

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared a claim that Pfizer has paid $2.8 million to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to have its COVID-19 vaccine approved.

The posts are followed by the screenshot of a document that allegedly proves the payment.


  • The document in the posts is legit, however, it only shows that Pfizer paid the Treasury Department a so-called drug registration fee, charged to all manufacturers of vaccines or drugs.
  • The fee, called the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), was created by the U.S. Congress in 1992 and authorizes the FDA to charge companies that produce certain human drugs and biological products.


Uganda’s police spokesman did not hit a journalist with a slingshot for asking an “irrelevant question”

False claim: Social media users in Nigeria have shared an image of a man in military uniform and holding a slingshot, along with the claim that he was the new Uganda police spokesman and that he allegedly shot a journalist with a projectile during a press conference for asking an “irrelevant question.”


  • A reverse image search shows that the photo was originally published by the Ugandan press in April 2021.
  • According to the reports, the image shows Uganda's national police spokesman Fred Enanga demonstrating to a group of reporters the operation of a slingshot that was part of a batch smuggled in from abroad and seized by authorities. The gun, however, was not loaded.
  • Contrary to what the posts shared on social media claim, Enanga has held the position of Uganda's national police spokesperson since January 2019.