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.


Biden did not put Medal of Honor on Vietnam veteran backwards

False claim: Social media users have shared a video supposedly showing U.S. President Joe Biden placing the Medal of Honor on backwards around the neck of a Vietnam War veteran.


  • On July 5, 2022 Biden awarded the Medal of Honor to four U.S. Army veterans who fought in the Vietnam War, including Dwight W. Birdwell, who appears in the viral video.
  • C-SPAN and PBS footages from the event at the White House clearly shows the moment when Biden approaches Birdwell from behind and places the medal correctly around his neck.
  • Pictures of the ceremony published by news agencies also show Biden placing the medal around Birdwell's neck with the gold star facing out.


Money magazine did not publish a cover with Zelensky riding a horse made of banknotes

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared an alleged cover of the Money magazine that shows Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky riding a horse made of dollar bills.

The purported cover displays the following text: “Learn How He's Laundering American Taxpayer Dollars.”


  • In the top-left corner of the image circulating on social media it is possible to see a reference to the satire and parody Instagram account @FJBUSA, which posted the cover with Zelensky on June 23, 2022.
  • In a statement to AFP, Lixia Guo, Money's spokesperson, said that the cover with Zelensky “was clearly redesigned by someone.”
  • Also according to Guo, the original cover was published in 2016 and featured British comedian John Oliver.


No evidence Shinzo Abe was killed for not following World Economic Forum orders

False claim: Social media users have shared the claim that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was allegedly assassinated on June 8 for not following World Economic Forum orders over COVID-19.

“Assassinated Japanese P.M. didn’t follow WEF orders. Didn’t mandate vaccines, sent 1.6 million doses back and gave citizens ivermectin. Make sense now?” reads the caption of some of the posts.


  • First, although Japan has not had a COVID-19 vaccination mandate, more than 80% of the country's population has been vaccinated.
  • As for the information that Japan has suspended 1.6 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, this is true, but the episode occurred after the distributor in Japan received reports of contaminants in some vials.
  • The government of Japan and Moderna, responsible for the vaccines, later said that no issues ha been identified and that the suspension served only as a precaution.
  • Regarding ivermectin, it is not on the list of drugs approved by Japan's medicines regulator, the Pharmaceuticals and Medicals Devices Agency (PMDA), to treat or prevent COVID-19.
  • Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old unemployed man, was arrested and named by police as the shooter who killed Abe.
  • According to reports from the investigation, Yamagami claimed to have a grudge against a particular organization and said he committed the crime because he believed Abe had a connection to it. The Japanese media also reported that Yamagami's family allegedly faced financial problems after his mother made donations to this organization.


Elon Musk’s Twitter account was not suspended after he dropped takeover deal

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared the claim that billionaire Elon Musk's Twitter account was suspended after he backed out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company.


  • Contrary to claims on social media, Musk's official Twitter account (@elonmusk) remains active on the platform, with the billionaire tweeting regularly.
  • The account that was actually suspended, and which appears in the screenshots shared on social media, is @eIonmusk, in which the letter “l” for Elon has been replaced by a capital “i”.

Latin America/Spain

Real Madrid will not be punished for not displaying a Pride flag on its social media pages

False claim: Social media users in Spain and Latin America have shared claims that Spanish club Real Madrid will face sanctions from the European Union and UEFA after it “refused to use the [rainbow] flag in support of the LGBTIQA+ community.” The claim comes after several clubs displayed the Pride flag on their social media profiles in June as part of the Pride month celebrations.


  • First, unlike other major European clubs such as Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City, Real Madrid did not post any content alluding to the LGBTIQA+ community in June.
  • In a statement to Spanish fact-checking agency Maldita, the European Commission said that the bloc has no legislation that imposes sanctions on any institution or entity for refusing to display the LGBTQIA+ flag.
  • As for Uefa, its disciplinary regulations do not provide for any kind of sanctions against teams that choose not to publicly show support for the LGBTIQA+ community.