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 does not show Queen Elizabeth II throwing food at poor children

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared an old video in which two women in white dresses and hats can be seen throwing small objects onto the ground in front of a group of children, who appear to scramble to collect the items. According to the posts, one of the women in the clip is Queen Elizabeth II, who is allegedly throwing food at poor children.


  • A reverse image search shows that a longer version of the video was posted on Wikimedia Commons on October 24, 2015.
  • The description of the video, titled “Enfants annamites ramassant des sapèques devant la pagode des dames” – which in English translates to “Annamese children picking up cash in front of the Ladies’ Pagoda” –, points out that the clip is part of a movie released by French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière in 1901.
  • In a statement to AFP, a spokesperson for the Institut Lumière said that the movie was shot by Gabriel Veyre in French Indochina – current Vietnam – between 1899 and 1900 and that the two women who appear in the clip are the wife and daughter of Paul Doumer, who was then-governor-general of French Indochina.


Queen Elizabeth II's dogs will not be buried alive with her

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared the claim that Queen Elizabeth II’s corgis will be buried alive with her next Monday, September 19.


  • A reverse image search shows that the claim originally appeared in an article published on the website Reductress.
  • In its “About Us” section, Reductress describes itself as “the first and only satirical women’s magazine”. On its official Twitter account, the website claims to be “the one and only fake women's news magazine”.
  • According to several news reports, at her death, Elizabeth II owned two corgis, which will now live with her son Andrew, the Duke of York.


Russia is not becoming the first country to break ties with the Antarctic Treaty

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a video in which a man claims that “Russia is now becoming the first country to break ties with the Antarctic Treaty” after discovering that “there is an entire continent” beneath Antarctica that includes “fresh water, lakes, rivers and civilization.”


  • Originally signed in 1959 by 12 nations – including the United States and the Soviet Union – the Antarctic Treaty aims to regulate with transparency any scientific research activity in and around Antarctica and to maintain the continent as a demilitarized zone.
  • The member countries of the treaty – 55 currently – convene annually, with the most recent meeting taking place in Berlin between May 22 and June 3 this year. During the meeting, there was no indication that Russia intended to withdraw from the agreement.

Latin America

Colombia's president has not announced the creation of an “army” of armed youths

False claim: Social media users in Colombia have shared the claim that president Gustavo Petro recently announced the creation of an “army” made up of 100,000 young people from criminal groups.

The posts compare the proposal to “Chavista collectives,” armed civilian groups that exist in neighboring Venezuela.


  • Some of the posts share as the alleged source of the news a clip from a report by Noticias Caracol in which a journalist claims that Petro “has just announced the creation of the largest army in Colombia,” which “will be formed by 100,000 young people that [Petro] calls ‘Youth in Peace.’”
  • The report talks about a ceremony held on September 13 in which Petro proposed the recreation of the “Youth in Peace” program, implemented by him during his time as mayor of Bogotá (2012-2015) and aimed at getting young people out of crime and encouraging them to complete their studies.
  • During the whole speech, published on the Presidency's YouTube account, Petro makes no mention of creating an “army” nor does he talk about distributing weapons to young people, as the posts claim.
  • Created in 2011 by then-President Hugo Chávez as a “popular militia,” the “Chavista collectives” are groups of armed citizens – mostly civilians – aligned with the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.


South Africa's national police commissioner did not say victims should call the police after being murdered

False claim: Social media users in South Africa have shared the claim that the country's national police commissioner Fannie Masemola reportedly gave the following statement: “If criminals kill you during a robbery, don't attempt to avenge yourself, wake up in the morning and call the cops.

We will come and take a statement.”


  • A web search shows that the information originally appeared in an article posted on a satirical Facebook page called The News Vine South Africa.
  • In its “About Us” section, The News Vine South Africa states: “If it looks like satire and it sounds like satire, it's probably satire.”