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.


Video of Zelensky allegedly admitting cocaine use is doctored

False claim: Social media users have shared a video in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky apparently confesses during an interview to being a cocaine user. In the clip, Zelensky appears to claim that the drug “gives energy for the whole day” and that he advises its use by everyone.


  • A reverse image search shows that the interview was originally published by Ukrainian media Ukrayinska Pravda on January 21, 2019 weeks after Zelensky – a famous actor and comedian in his country – announced his candidacy for the presidency.
  • The full version of the interview, available on Ukrayinska Pravda's YouTube channel, is over an hour long. At 7:41, the journalist asks Zelensky if he is a cocaine user, who replies: “Great! Great! No, I'm sitting on something white, but it's a chair. It's not cocaine. I don't use drugs.”
  • The interviewer then presses the issue and asks, “Do you snort? Do you use?”, and Zelensky replies: “I snort coffee, because I'm really addicted to coffee. I really like coffee, I really do.”
  • The full version of the interview also shows that in the part of the viral video where Zelensky seems to extol the benefits of cocaine in his “lifestyle,” he is actually not talking about drugs, but about sports.


Elon Musk did not reinstate Donald Trump on Twitter

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a purported tweet from former President Donald Trump thanking billionaire Elon Musk for allowing him to return to Twitter.

The claim comes amid Musk's recent purchase of a 9.2% stake in Twitter (for about $2.9 billion), making him the company's largest single shareholder.


  • In a statement to the AFP, a Twitter spokesperson said that Trump's account “remains permanently suspended.”
  • On April 14, 2022 Musk offered $43 billion to buy Twitter, saying that the platform should be a free speech bastion.
  • Twitter permanently blocked Trump's profile on January 8, 2021 two days after its supporters stormed the Capitol during a session to certify Biden's victory in 2020 election. Five people died on that occasion.
  • The attack happened amid Trump's constant rhetoric about an alleged widespread fraud in the 2020 election, a false claim repeatedly rejected by dozens of courts and state election officials.


Post about parent forcefully medicating transgender child is fabricated

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a screenshot of a post purportedly made on a Reddit forum by the father of a transgender child.

“Anyone else having trouble convincing your teen kids to continue transitioning. My 14-year-old daughter (AMAB) has started refusing her estradiol so I’ve been crushing the pills and putting it in her cereal,” reads the post. AMAB stands for assigned male at birth.


A conversation on a Reddit forum in August 2021 indicates that users were planning on creating false posts on the subreddit “r/transparenttranskid.”

  • A user named “Funkyduffy” replied on the forum with a link to the post about the forced administration of estradiol and a GIF with the phrase “I'm doing my part.”
  • In August 2021, the “r/transparenttranskid” subreddit was removed by Reddit for, according to a platform moderator, violating the website’s rules and spreading hateful stereotypes.
  • An archive of the subreddit shows that the author of the post about the forced administration of estradiol was also a user called “Funkyduffy.”


Video does not show explosion on Russian warship Moskva

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared a video of an explosion on a ship, along with the claim that the image shows the Russian warship Moskva, which sank last week in the Black Sea.

Ukraine claims to have hit the ship with a missile attack, while Russia insists that the reason for the sinking was a fire.


  • A reverse image search shows that the clip shared on social media is part of a larger video originally published on June 6, 2013, on the YouTube channel of the British news agency South West News Service.
  • According to the video description, the footage shows a test missile strike carried out by the Norwegian Navy on a decommissioned frigate.


Video does not show mermaid found off Kenyan coast

False claim: Social media users in Africa have shared two videos of what is, according to the caption of the posts, the sighting of a mermaid on a beach in Kwale, Kenya.

Some of the posts, however, claim that the video was recorded in Muizenberg, South Africa.


  • In statements to the press, the Kwale and Muizenberg police departments said they have no record of any mermaid sighting on their shores, classifying the rumor as false.
  • The videos shared on social media have some elements that indicate that the scenes were manipulated, such as a part in which it is possible to see a gap between the mermaid’s upper body and its fish tail.


Justice did not ask for more than 600 kg of seized cocaine to be given back to drug dealers

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared a video published on journalist Alexandre Garcia's YouTube channel on April 14 in which he says that justice ordered 695 kilos of cocaine seized in a warehouse in the city of Itaguaí, in Rio de Janeiro, to be given back to the drug dealers.


  • In September 2021, police officers seized a large amount of cocaine hidden inside mangoes in a warehouse in the port of Itaguaí. The drug would be sent to Europe.
  • In March 2022, a Federal Regional Court ruled that it was illegal for the police to enter the warehouse where the drugs were seized, since there was no judicial warrant.
  • The decision, however, did not determine the seized drug to be given back to the drug dealers – it was actually later incinerated by the federal police – but only revoked the arrest warrant of three suspects.