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.


Video of protester removing the EU flag from the European Commission headquarters in Rome is from 2013

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a video in which a group of people carrying Italian flags protests in front of the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – headquarters in Rome. During the clip, one of the demonstrators can be seen climbing the front of the building and removing the EU flag.

The posts indicate that the episode happened a day before Giorgia Meloni's – founder and leader of the far-right party Brothers of Italy – landslide victory in Italy's general election on Sunday 25.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was posted on YouTube on December 19, 2013 on the account of the neo-fascist group CasaPound. According to the description of the post, the clip shows a demonstration organized by CasaPound five days earlier.
  • With her coalition garnering 44% of the vote, Giorgia Meloni is expected to become the country's first female prime minister in the coming weeks, leading Italy's most right-wing government since the defeat of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime at the end of World War II.


Democrat-proposed bill does not aim to allow noncitizen voting

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared the claim that Democrats want to allow immigrants who are not U.S.

citizens to vote. The rumor began circulating after House Judiciary Democrats struck down an amendment proposed by Republican Congressman Tom McClintock that sought to spell out that a section in a bill proposed by Democrats would not be interpreted to allow “any noncitizen to vote in a federal election.”


  • The bill in question (H.R.8770), introduced on September 2 by Georgia Democratic Representative Nikema Williams, is not about expanding voting rights for noncitizens, but rather about reforming a section of the Voting Rights Act to expand translation of voting materials for “limited English proficient” voters.
  • Under federal law, while those who are not U.S. citizens are banned from voting in federal elections, it is up to states and local municipalities to decide whether these people can vote in state and local elections.


News anchor did not issue a doomsday warning as Hurricane Ian was heading toward Florida

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a 19-second video in which a Fox News anchor, using a map of the state of Florida in the background, states: “See this?

Melbourne, Daytona Beach, all the way up to Jacksonville. [If this hurricane] moves 20 miles to the west, and you and everyone you know are dead. All of you. Because you can't survive it. It's not possible unless you're very, very lucky. And your kids die too.” According to the posts, the warning was reportedly made during this week, ahead of Hurricane Ian landfall.


  • A reverse image search shows that the clip was originally broadcast by Fox News on October 6, 2016 as the U.S. prepared for Hurricane Matthew, a Category 5 hurricane that never made landfall in Florida, though it caused flooding, power outages and the death of more than 40 people.
  • Shepard Smith, who appears in the clip issuing the doomsday warning for Floridians, left Fox News in 2019 and currently hosts the nightly news show “The News with Shepard Smith” on CNBC.


Video does not show China’s army entering Ukraine

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared a video showing a convoy of military vehicles driving down the road, some of them displaying Chinese characters on the sides.

According to the posts, the clip shows China’s army entering Ukraine from Russia.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was posted on YouTube on August 30, 2022. The description of the post states that the clip shows China’s People’s Liberation Army taking part in this year’s Vostok joint military exercises.
  • Last July, Russia announced that it would hold a series of joint military exercises with forces from other countries, including China, from August 30 to September 5.
  • Named “Vostok” (“East” in Russian), the exercises take place in Russia’s Far East region, on the country’s opposite side from its border with Ukraine.


Viral paper downplaying climate emergency cherry-picked data

False claim: Social media users in Australia have shared a paper published by scientists that claims there is no evidence of a climate emergency.

The paper was also cited in a widely-shared television clip from Sky News Australia.


  • The paper cited on social media was published in January 2022 in the European Physical Journal Plus by four Italian scientists – three physicists and an agricultural meteorologist.
  • Based on a review of other studies, the article states that there is not enough data to prove a clear trend of increase in the intensity of extreme events such as floods and droughts.
  • Speaking to AFP, German climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf, Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the article “is published by people not working in climatology and obviously unfamiliar with the topic and relevant data.”
  • “[The paper] is not published in a climate journal – this is a common avenue taken by ‘climate sceptics’ in order to avoid peer review by real experts in the field. They simply ignore studies that don't fit their narrative and have come to the opposite conclusion,” Rahmstorf added.
  • “The choice of figures and sections headings focusses on results which can be used to make the case that extremes and/or their impacts are not increasing while ignoring other results which show that some extremes are increasing,” said Richard Betts, head of climate impacts research at Britain's Met Office, in an interview with AFP.

Latin America

It is false that there was an explosion at a Chinese base in the Argentine Patagonia

Fake claim: Social media users in Argentina have shared a video that appears to show a series of explosions during the night.

According to the posts, the images show “terrible explosions” at a Chinese base in the Argentine Patagonia.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was posted on YouTube on September 15, 2022 accompanied by the following description: “During the night of Monday, September 12, strange colored lights were observed in the sky around the city of Neiva, Colombia. The colored lights that were observed from a long distance were caused by damage to an electrical transformer that generated these discharges that could be seen from kilometers away.”
  • A search for the keywords “Neiva” and “explosion” shows that several Colombian media outlets reported the episode, many of them sharing videos showing the same scene recorded from different angles.
  • On September 13, the electricity company ElectroHuila posted on its Twitter account a video explaining the incident involving a transformer at the El Bote substation.
  • Argentina and China signed a space cooperation agreement in 2012, which allowed the Asian country to install a scientific research base and a 35-meter diameter antenna in Neuquén province in the Patagonia region.