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.


Texas school mass shooter was not an undocumented transgender immigrant

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared the claim that Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old man identified by the police as the responsible for the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was an undocumented transgender immigrant. The posts are accompanied by photos that supposedly show Ramos holding the trans pride flag.


  • In a press conference on May 24, Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed the police information that the perpetrator of the massacre was Salvador Ramos and stressed that he was a U.S. citizen and a resident of Uvalde.
  • As for the image that would supposedly prove that Ramos was a trans woman, the person who appears in the photo, identified on social media as Sam, denied on Reddit and Instagram having any relation to the massacre.
  • “I don't even live in Texas,” Sam said in a post on May 25, a day after the crime at the school, which ended with the shooter killed by police.
  • The massacre at the Uvalde school left 19 children and two teachers dead.


Monkeypox is not a “new virus” or has any link with COVID-19 vaccine

False claim: Amid a recent increase in the number of monkeypox cases reported in countries in Europe and North America, social media users around the world have shared claims that it is a “new virus” and that it is linked to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, that uses chimpanzee adenovirus.


  • Monkeypox was discovered in 1958, when two outbreaks were recorded in monkey colonies used for research.
  • The first recorded case in humans occurred in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, according to the WHO, the disease has become endemic in parts of West and Central Africa, with sporadic cases reported in other regions of the world.
  • AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine does indeed include a chimpanzee adenovirus, which is modified to resemble SARS-CoV-2.
  • However, according to information from Oxford University, which helped in the development of the vaccine, this modified adenovirus is not capable of causing any disease: neither Covid-19, nor monkeypox.
  • Other than that, although both are viruses, adenovirus and monkeypox virus belong to completely different families.
  • Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that can cause infections of the respiratory tract, eyes, and gastrointestinal tract, while monkeypox virus is from the genus Orhopoxvirus, which belongs to the family Poxviridae.


The WHO is not planning to implement a “pandemic treaty” that would strip member states of their sovereignty

False claim: Social media users in the United States and Canada have shared the claim that the World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to implement a “pandemic treaty” that would strip member states of their sovereignty, granting the entity the power to, among other things, implement its own lockdowns and imprison people who refuse to get vaccinated.


  • In December 2021, after nearly 6 million people died worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, world leaders began working on a proposal to amend the current International Health Regulations (IHR), created in 1969 to define the rights and obligations of member states in dealing with specific public health emergencies.
  • International authorities, who have revised the regulation a few times over the years, see the document as insufficient to deal with a global pandemic, which should lead to a new reform in the next two years.
  • According to Reuters, some proposed amendments involve the sharing of data related to emerging viruses, a ban on wildlife markets and a plan for equitable vaccine distribution.
  • There is no mention in the proposals under discussion of any loss of sovereignty by the 194 member countries over health issues or of giving the WHO powers to implement lockdowns and imprison people who refuse to get vaccinated.


Video does not show Russian nuclear missiles heading towards the Finnish border

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared a video showing a Russian military convoy carrying heavy weaponry, accompanied by the claim that those were Iskander missiles – with nuclear capability – that were being taken to the border with Finland, a country that last week formalized its intention to apply to join NATO.


  • In a statement to the Spanish fact-checking agency Newtral, British military intelligence analyst Thomas Bullock, who works for the private agency Janes, said that “the platforms [of the military trucks] in the video clearly show that they are not Iskander missiles” but “Bastion-P anti-ship missile launchers.”
  • An analysis of the road signs that appear on the clip indicates that the convoy was in the St. Petersburg region, about one hundred kilometers from the Finnish border.
  • There is no indication in the video that the convoy was headed toward the border between with Finland.

Latin America

The draft of Chile's new constitution does not say that houses will be taken over by the state

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared the claim that the draft of Chile's new constitution, which seeks to replace the text enacted in 1980 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), states that houses will become state property and cannot be inherited.


  • On May 16, 2022 the Constitutional Convention (a group of deputies elected to write the new constitution) delivered the first draft of Chile's new constitution, with 499 articles.
  • However, there is no section of the draft that talks about the expropriation of homes by the state or that properties will no longer be inheritable.
  • In the text, the article that talks about the right to housing states only that “everyone has the right to decent and adequate housing that allows the free development of a personal, family and community life.”


Ancient Egyptian artwork does not show South Korean flag symbol

False claim: Social media users in South Korea shared images of two Ancient Egyptian artwork along with the claim that they contain the Taegeuk, a symbol present in the center of the South Korean national flag.


  • A reverse image search shows that one of the images corresponds with a papyrus scroll that is part of the collection of the British Museum.
  • According to the museum, the item dates back to the 19th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt (1292-1190 BC).
  • A comparison with the original work stored in the British Museum shows that in the image shared on social media the Taegeuk was added digitally.
  • Regarding the second image shared, a spokesperson for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art told AFP that the work corresponds to an early 1920s replica of an ancient mural from the tomb of Nakht (1410-1370 BC) in Thebes.
  • Again, both the replica and the original work do not feature the Taegeuk symbol, which was added digitally in the images shared on social media.