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.


Kremenchuk mall was open when attacked by Russian missiles

False claim: On June 27, a missile attack destroyed a shopping mall in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, leaving at least 18 people dead. In the days following the tragedy, social media users around the world have shared claims that, according to Google Maps, the mall was closed at the time of the attack.


  • First, the Russian Army denied attacking the mall, confirming only that it attacked an ammunition and weapons warehouse near the shopping center.
  • According to the Russian Army, “the explosions of ammunition for Western weapons caused a fire in the nearby mall, which was not operating at the time,” a version that is refuted by evidence gathered by the international press and the testimonies of residents.
  • Regarding the Google Maps screenshots that showed the mall as closed at the time of the attack, Google Maps warns on its page that it is possible that information about a location might be out of date.
  • In fact, on June 28, the day after the mall was destroyed, Google Maps was saying that the shopping center was open, as shown in a cached image.
  • In interviews with various media outlets, including AFP and The New York Times, witnesses of the June 27 attack confirmed that the mall had been operating normally, including at the time the missiles hit the shopping center.
  • After the attack, several stores operating in the mall mourned the deaths, including the Comfy company, which lost one of its employees in the tragedy and called the episode on its Facebook page a “dark day” in the history of Ukraine.


Image does not show trash at Glastonbury Festival after Greta Thunberg's speech

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared an image of littered grounds in front of a stage, alongside the claim that the picture was allegedly taken at this year's edition of the Glastonbury Festival in England after Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a surprise appearance at the event.


  • A reverse image search shows that the image shared on social media was taken by photographer David Hedges of the British news agency SWNS on June 29, 2015.
  • The image was used in a story published by the British newspaper Daily Mail on June 29, 2015 about the cleanup work after the last day of that year's Glastonbury Festival.
  • Images from this year's edition of the music festival show that the main stage of the event featured a peace sign at the apex of the structure, unlike the 2015 stage, which featured an angel-winged clock.

United Kingdom

Argentinians are not to be given a 40-day public holiday so they can watch the World Cup

False claim: Social media users in the U.K.

have shared the claim that the government of Argentina has reportedly decided to declare a nationwide holiday between next November 15 and December 25 so that the population can watch this year's FIFA World Cup, which will be held from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar.


  • In a statement to the British fact-checking agency Full Fact, the Argentine embassy in London said that an extended holiday like the one announced on social media is highly unlikely and that, if true, it would have been notified by the Buenos Aires government.
  • There is no mention of the alleged extended holiday on the Argentine government's website nor any reference to the topic in the country's mainstream media.

Latin America

Japan has not adopted an education system with only five subjects and no homework

False claim: Social media users in Latin American countries have shared the claim that Japan is implementing a new educational system called “Brave Change (Futoji no henko)” that includes only five subjects and zero homework.


  • First of all, the Japanese language term “Futoji no henko” present in the posts shared on social media does not translate as “Brave Change,” but rather as “bold font changes.”
  • The term also does not appear on the Japanese Ministry of Education's website, which mentions that the last educational reform in the country was made in 2006.
  • In a statement to AFP, the Japanese Ministry of Education denied that students in the country take “only five subjects”.


Video does not show dancing robot couple made in China

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared a video of a dancing couple, alongside the claim that those, in fact, were robots manufactured in China.

“This classical dance was created in China and broadcast at Shanghai Disneyland. They are not dancers, but robots made in China,” reads the caption of the posts.


  • A reverse image search shows that the shared video is actually a dance performance by model Abbey Clancy and choreographer Aljaž Škorjanec during the 2013 edition of the “Strictly Come Dancing” television show on BBC One.
  • The original recording is available on the BBC's YouTube profile.


Authorities have not found $27 billion belonging to dead Nigerian

False claim: Social media users in Africa have shared an image of huge piles of cash, alongside the claim that those banknotes were part of a total of $27 billion that Nigerian authorities reportedly found in the apartment of a man who died.

“He has been trying to give it away for 15 years but no one would return his email," reads the caption of some of the posts.


  • A reverse image search shows that the image was originally published on March 16, 2007 by the Mexican Attorney General's Office.
  • Media reports that shared the picture at the time inform that the image shows the seizure of some $207 million from the home of Chinese-Mexican businessman Zhenli Ye Gon in Mexico City during an operation against drug trafficking.
  • According to the Forbes ranking, Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote is currently the richest man in Africa, with an estimated fortune of $13.9 billion, or just over half the amount that would have been found according to the false claim circulating on social media.