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.


Justin Bieber's Ramsay Hunt syndrome was not caused by COVID-19 vaccine

False claim: After Justin Bieber announced on Instagram on 10 June, 2022 that he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Ramsay Hunt syndrome – causing a full paralysis on one side of his face and forcing him to postpone dates on his world tour this month –, social media users have shared the claim that the singer was a victim of a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines.


  • In a statement to Politifact, Curtis Gill, a spokesperson for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that the agency “has detected no unusual or unexpected patterns of Ramsay Hunt syndrome following immunization that would indicate COVID-19 vaccines are causing or contributing to this condition.”
  • While there is no official information on whether Bieber has taken the COVID-19 vaccine, last February the singer was diagnosed with a mild case of the disease, leading to the postponement of a show in Las Vegas.


Illinois high school did not introduce a “race-based grading system”

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared an article claiming that Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRFHS) in a suburb of Chicago will begin implementing a “race-based grading system.”


  • In a statement posted on its website, Oak Park and River Forest High School claims that it “does not, nor has it ever had a plan to, grade any students differently based on race.”
  • “The article contains a variety of misleading and inaccurate statements. The article’s mischaracterization of the Board meeting is unfortunate and has caused unnecessary confusion,” reads the statement.
  • The false claim is based on a misreading of a series of slides presented at an OPRFHS Board meeting on May 26, 2022.
  • The slides, however, make no mention of changing academic outcomes based on ethnicity or skin color.

United Kingdom

The European Union was not responsible for blocking Rwanda flight carrying asylum seekers

False claim: Social media users in the UK have shared the claim that the European Union was allegedly responsible for blocking on June 14, 2022 Britain's first flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda.

“We Are not part of the EU, so they should keep there big, dirty noses out of our dessision and laws, here in the UK [sic],” reads one of the posts.


  • The flight cancellation came after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France, and responsible for applying the European Convention on Human Rights to member states of the Council of Europe.
  • A separate entity from the European Union, the Council of Europe has 46 member states, including all 27 EU members and 19 non-EU countries – the United Kingdom among them.
  • The United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union therefore does not affect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, nor does it exempt the UK government from complying with its rulings.


McDonald's did not include condoms by mistake in thousands of Happy Meals

False claim: Social media users in Italy have shared the claim that in 2010 McDonald’s mistakenly put condoms instead of toys in more than 5,000 Happy Meals.


  • A web search shows that the claim was originally published in June 2010 in an article on the Cap News website.
  • A message in the bottom right corner of the page indicates that all content published on Cap News is satirical.

Latin America/Spain

Stores in Prague have not banned Ukrainian refugees

False claim: Social media users in Spain and Latin America have shared images of two stores in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, that allegedly placed a sign in their windows forbidding the entry of Ukrainian citizens.

According to the posts, the shopkeepers were “fed up with the constant robberies and the terrible behavior of the refugees.”


  • In statements to local TV station Televize Seznam, the owners of both stores that appear in the images circulating on social networks denied having banned Ukrainians. The images have been digitally manipulated to add the false sign.
  • “Customers are coming to us and I am having to explain to everyone that this is a fake picture. We never had that sign here. I am not interested in politics or banning anyone from entering the store,” said Marcela Abdel, owner of Aries Vitality Textiles.
  • The fake images went viral after being shared on Twitter by the Czech newspaper Prague Morning, which later apologized for the error with the following message: “We are sorry. We received the photos in the morning on Facebook from one of our readers, saying he took them yesterday afternoon, and we trusted him. Our mistake.”


Muslim cricketer Moeen Ali did not tweet about 'boycotting India' over remarks against Prophet Mohammed

False claim: Social media users in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan have shared a screenshot of a purported tweet from English cricketer Moeen Ali saying he would not play a match in India again until the country apologized for controversial comments by a ruling party politician about the prophet Mohammed.


  • In recent weeks, a comment by Indian politician Nupur Sharma during a televised debate about the prophet Mohammed's relationship with his younger wife sparked a wave of protests by Muslims in several countries in the region.
  • Sharma, a leading figure in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was suspended by her party for the remarks.
  • In a statement to AFP, Jonathan Reed, head of media and publications at the England and Wales Cricket Board, said that the account responsible for publishing the tweet circulating on the web did not belong to Moeen Ali. “This was a fake account. Moeen does not have any social media accounts,” he said.
  • A Muslim, Moeen Ali plays for the England national cricket team and the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.