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 Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene auditioning for ‘American Idol’

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a video from the first season of the reality show “American Idol” in which a young blonde woman appears during an audition, accompanied by the claim that she is actually Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been punished by the U.S.

Congress for supporting conspiracy theories.


  • In the clip shared on social media, the contestant is introduced as 23-year-old Stefanie Sugarman. In the video she claims to live in Alta Loma, in Southern California, and to work in marketing for cheese products.
  • Greene, meanwhile, was 28 during the first season of “American Idol” and is from Milledgeville, Georgia. According to biographical information on her official website, in 2002 she bought a commercial construction and renovation company with her husband.
  • In a statement to Reuters, Nick Dyer, a representative for Greene, confirmed that the woman in the clip is not Greene. Tanesia Tramell, Sugarman’s talent manager, confirmed to Snopes that it is her client in the clip, not Greene.


Study does not confirm the efficacy of ivermectin against COVID-19

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared the claim that the U.S.

National Institute of Health (NIH) have listed ivermectin as an approved treatment against COVID-19. The posts are accompanied by a screenshot of the NIH website with the name of the drug on it.


  • The screenshot shared in the posts is real, but it lists all drugs evaluated for treatment against COVID-19, both those approved and those not recommended for use – the group in which ivermectin is included.
  • On its website, the NIH makes clear that it is opposed to the use of ivermectin to combat COVID-19 due to a lack of evidence of its efficacy.
  • Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) do not approve the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.

Latin America

It is false that the weapon used in the attack against Cristina Kirchner was a water pistol

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared the claim that the weapon used in the attack against Argentina's Vice President Cristina Kirchner on September 1, 2022, was actually a water pistol.


  • Hours after the attack on Cristina, the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, said on television that the gun used in the attack had five bullets and that the perpetrator tried to fire it without success.
  • The following day, sources at the Argentine Security Ministry stated that the weapon used in the attack was a Bersa Lusber 84 with the serial number partially filed off.
  • Later on, the Argentine Scientific Police were able to reconstruct the complete serial number of the pistol and find that the weapon was registered in the name of César Bruno Herrera, a now deceased taxi driver who was a former neighbour of Fernando Andrés Sabag Montiell, the perpetrator of the attack.

Hong Kong

Picture does not show wreckage of Chinese drone shot down by Taiwanese troops

False claim: Social media users in Hong Kong have shared a picture of the wreckage of a drone, alongside the claim that the unmanned aircraft belong to China and was shot down by Taiwanese military personnel.


  • A reverse image search shows that the image shared on social media was originally published in a statement by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence on July 16, 2020.
  • According to the statement, the image shows an Armenian X-55 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that was shot down by the country's military.
  • Tensions in the Taiwan Strait escalated last August after China conducted a series of large-scale military exercises in the region in response to a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island considered by Beijing to be a rebel province.