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.


Russians were not in a 35-kilometer-long line at Finland border after news of draft

False claim: After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a televised address on Wednesday the partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists to bolster the country's troops amid the war with Ukraine, social media users around the world have shared a video of a line of cars on the border between Russia and Finland, alongside the claim that those were images of Russian citizens trying to flee the country.

Some users even claimed that the lines stretched for 35 kilometers.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media was originally posted on YouTube on September 19, 2022 two days before Putin's announcement.
  • Contacted by several fact-checking agencies, the author of the clip said that the images were recorded by him on August 29, 2022 near the Vaalimaa border post in Finland.
  • On Thursday morning, the Finnish Border Guard Service posted on its official Twitter account that “incoming traffic at the eastern border increased during the night,” but that the number of vehicles “is still small compared to the time before the pandemic.”


Russian airlines have not been ordered to stop selling tickets to Russian men aged 18 to 65

False claim: Also related to Putin's announcement during the week, social media users in the United States have shared the claim that Russian airlines were allegedly ordered by Moscow to stop selling tickets to Russian men aged 18 to 65.


  • In a statement to Reuters, the head of Russia's tourism agency said that “no restrictions have been imposed on travelling abroad so far.”
  • Also to Reuters, Russia's flag-carrying airline Aeroflot said it is not limiting ticket sales to any type of customer.
  • According to Russian outlet RBC, direct flights from Moscow to countries where Russians don't need a visa to enter – including Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey – have sold out in the hours following Putin's announcement.


Image does not show Zelensky during a Pride parade in New York

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared an image purportedly showing Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky participating in a Pride parade in New York City in 1999.


  • A reverse image search shows that the image was originally posted on Flickr on June 25, 2006 by photographer Thomas Hobbs.
  • In the original picture, which is part of an album called “Gay Pride 2006,” it is possible to see that the person indicated in social media posts as Zelenky is actually not the Ukrainian president, whose face was digitally added to the image.

Latin America

Christians and Muslims have not merged into an “official world religion” called “Chrislam”

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared the claim that the VII Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which brought together leaders of the world's major religions in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur Sultan, on September 14 and 15, 2022 concluded with the establishment of “Chrislam” as the “official world religion.”


  • A triennial event started in 2003, the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions brought together in this year's edition representatives of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism and other traditional religions.
  • In its final declaration, published on the congress official website, the participants make a call for “peace and dialogue between religions, cultures and civilizations.”
  • There is no mention in the document, or in the archives of previous editions of the event, of “Chrislam” or an alleged “official world religion.” Rather, the final declaration points out that pluralism “is an expression of the wisdom of God” and that “any coercion to a particular religion and religious doctrine is unacceptable.”
  • Although not named in the congress, “Chrislam” does in fact exist. Originated in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, in the 1970s, the religious movement seeks to merge elements of the country's main religious traditions: Islam and Christianity.


Video does not show Taiwan's tallest building swaying during a recent earthquake

False claim: Social media users in China have shared a video purportedly showing the Taipei 101 skyscraper, Taiwan's tallest building, swaying back and forth after a powerful earthquake on September 18.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media was originally posted on August 17, 2022 by TikTok user take521012.
  • When replying to a comment on the video, take521012 said that the clip shows “special effects.”
  • In a post on its official Facebook page, Taipei 101's management team said that the clip shared on social media “is obviously inconsistent with the facts.” “We would like to clarify this to avoid any public misunderstanding. Please stop sharing this rumour,” reads the message.
  • The 6.9-magnitude quake that struck Taiwan last Sunday destroyed streets and homes, leaving at least one person dead and more than 140 injured.


Nigeria is not banning all white models from appearing in advertisements

False claim: Social media users in Nigeria have shared the claim that a new legislation passed in the country will ban white models from appearing in advertisements.


  • On August 22, 2022 the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) announced in a post on its official Twitter account that a new legislation will now ban the “use of Foreign Models and Voice-Over Artists on the Nigerian Advertising Medium/Media.”
  • The statement, however, does not specify any ethnic group as the target of the new regulation.
  • According to Olalekan Fadolapo, the director-general of ARCON, the ban is aimed at “developing local talent, inclusive economic growth, and the need to take necessary steps and actions aimed at growing the Nigerian advertising agency.”