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.


Story about parents changing their baby’s gender is fabricated

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a screenshot

of an alleged article that reports the story of a couple who changed their baby’s gender. The post is accompanied by a picture of a couple holding a baby.


  • A reverse image search shows that the picture was used in press articles published in June 2017 about a transgender couple who put their transitions on hold to allow them to have a biological child.
  • In none of the stories, published when the couple's daughter was already one year old, is there any mention of the alleged change in the child's gender.


It is not true that vaccinated pilots are not fit to fly

False claim: Social media users in Spain have shared the claim that pilots who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are not fit to fly, and that airlines are now looking to hire professionals who have not received the vaccine.

The posts are accompanied by a video of Christine Anderson, a German MEP from the far-right Alternative für Deutschland party, who claims that the vaccines are associated with a series of health issues which would make jabbed pilots “unfit for the job.”


  • In a statement to the Spanish fact-checking agency Newtral, both the Spanish Airline Pilots Union (SEPLA) and the Spanish Airline Association (ALA) say the rumor that companies are hiring only unvaccinated pilots is false.
  • SEPLA and ALA also said that pilots who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 “are able to perform their jobs.”
  • In a statement to the Spanish fact-checking agency Maldita, the Official College of Commercial Aviation Pilots (Copac) informed that there is no guidance from health or aviation bodies indicating that adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccines could pose risks to pilots or the safety of flights.

Latin America

Video does not show Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's seized luxury cars

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared a video in which a journalist reports about a search-and-seizure operation carried out by the police.

The caption of the posts claims that the seized assets – which include luxury cars and trucks – belong to Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was originally published in June 2019, on the YouTube channel of journalist José Viñuela.
  • After the rumor went viral, Viñuela posted the following message on his Facebook account: “I want to clarify that all vehicles have been returned to their owner. The video is not from now, but someone posted it on WhatsApp. It was recorded in June 2019.”
  • Viñuela also shared a link to an article from the newspaper Chaco Día por Día, published on June 26, 2019 which reports that the operation seized assets linked to businessman Cristino Villalba, accused of leading “a criminal association dedicated to tax evasion and money laundering through the purchase of properties in Puerto Madero and luxury vehicles.”


Image does not show rejected designs for Eiffel Tower

False claim: Social media users in India have shared a collection of 14 different tower projects, along with the claim that those were the designs rejected when building the Eiffel Tower in Paris in the late 19th century.


  • A reverse image search shows that the collection was originally posted on August 14, 2022 by Twitter user @HoaxEye, along with the explanation that those were late 19th century designs for “the great tower of London.”
  • The post accompanies a link to an article published in July 2012 by UK-based online arts journal The Public Domain Review, which describes the images as follows: “Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London.”
  • According to the publication, 68 designs participated in the architectural competition held in 1890. The construction of the winning design began in 1892, but was abandoned in the following years and eventually demolished in the early 20th century.
  • Designed by the architect Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition of 1889, the construction of the Eiffel Tower began in 1887.


Viral video does not show the inside of the Kaaba

False claim: Social media users in Nigeria have shared a video of a man opening a door and entering a room decorated with Arabic inscriptions and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

According to the posts, the images are from inside the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was originally posted on April 14, 2022 by a TikTok user named fadar_bege, without any reference to the Kaaba.
  • It is possible to see in the clip that the Arabic inscriptions on the wall quote Abdul Qadir Al-Gilani, an influential Islamic scholar who founded the Qadiriyah order of the Sufi branch of Islam.
  • A search for Abdul Qadir Al-Gilani's name leads to a video report on Al-Gilani's mausoleum, posted on YouTube on March 16, 2021. The clip shows the same place that the viral video claims is the inside of the Kaaba.