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.


Joe Biden did not announce plan to cheat on the U.S. midterms by “dumping ballots”

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared the claim that President Joe Biden reportedly announced in a November 2 address to the nation a plan to cheat on the midterms by “dumping ballots.”


  • The full transcript of the speech, available on the White House website, shows that Biden did not say anything about a plan to cheat by “dumping ballots” during the midterm elections.
  • During his speech, Biden argued that the lie about the 2020 election being stolen “fueled the dangerous rise in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years,” urging voters to be patient during the counting process and reminding them that it is normal to not know all results on election night.
  • “We know that more and more ballots are cast in early voting or by mail in America. And we know that many states don’t start counting those ballots until after the polls close on November 8th. That means, in some cases, we won’t know the winner of the election for a few days –until after a few days after the election. It takes time to count all legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner. It’s always been important for citizens in a democracy to be informed and engaged. Now it’s important for citizens to be patient as well. That’s how this is supposed to work,” Biden said.


Spain’s transgender bill does not take custody from parents who refuse their children to change gender

False claim: Social media users in Spain have shared the claim that the so-called transgender bill, currently under discussion in the country's parliament, allows parents to lose custody if they object to their children changing gender.


  • Named “Bill for the real and effective equality of transgender people and to guarantee the rights of LGBTQIA+ people,” the bill seeks to allow, among other things, people aged 16 and over to freely change their gender and name in their official documents. Currently, to do that in Spain the person needs to be over 18, have a medical diagnosis and be on hormone therapy for at least two years.
  • The new bill also contemplates extending the right to children aged 12 to 16, although under certain conditions and accompanied in the process by their legal representatives.
  • In its most recent version, published on September 12, 2022 and available on the Spanish parliament's website, the bill makes no mention of a possible loss of custody by parents who refuse their children to change gender.
  • According to article 38 of the bill, which talks about changing the gender in official documents, “in case of disagreement of the parents or legal representatives, between themselves or with the minor, a legal guardian will be appointed in accordance with the provisions of articles 235 and 236 of the Civil Code.”

Latin America

BQ.1.1 COVID variant was not nicknamed “hellhound” and is not “resistant” to vaccines

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared the claim that the new Omicron subvariant BQ.1.1 is not only more contagious than its predecessors but also resistant to currently available vaccines, prompting health authorities to dub it the “hellhound.”


  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), BQ.1.1 is a sublineage of Omicron’s BA.5 subvariant, currently prevalent worldwide.
  • In a statement released on October 27, 2022 the WHO informs that “so far there is no epidemiological evidence that these sublineages will be of substantially greater risk compared to other Omicron sublineages.”
  • As for the claim that BQ.1.1 is more resistant to currently available vaccines, the WHO states that “the impact of the observed immunological changes on vaccine escape remains to be established”, however, “based on currently available knowledge, protection by vaccines (both the index and the recently introduced bivalent vaccines) against infection may be reduced but no major impact on protection against severe disease is foreseen.”
  • Finally, there is no evidence that any health authority has referred to BQ.1.1 as “hellhound.”


Picture does not show Twitter employees protesting Elon Musk's massive layoffs

False claim: Social media users in Hong Kong have shared an image of a group of people marching with a banner that reads: “Fuc* off Elon Musk sincerely, Twiter employees [sic].” According to the posts, the image shows Twitter employees protesting against massive layoffs at the company following Elon Musk’s takeover.


  • A reverse image search shows that the picture shared on social media was originally posted on Flickr on June 2, 2013. The description of the image indicates that it was taken during that year's Pride parade in Winnipeg, Canada.
  • It is possible to see in the original picture that the banner held by the protesters was doctored to include the phrase against Musk. The original message reads “Wild prairie furs & friends,” accompanied by a rainbow, the symbol of the LGBTQIA+ movement.


Lula did not promise to pardon man arrested after stabbing Bolsonaro during 2018 campaign

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared a screenshot of a Jovem Pan News network show that allegedly reported that President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promised to pardon Adélio Bispo, the man arrested for stabbing then-presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro during the 2018 election campaign.


  • A reverse image search shows that the screenshot shared on social media is part of the January 25, 2022 live edition of the “Jornal da Manhã” show.
  • In the full video, available on Jovem Pan News' YouTube account, it is possible to see hosts Thiago Uberreich and Adriana Reid talking to other journalists about the weather forecast.
  • The image shared on social media, therefore, was doctored to insert the caption about the pardon and images of Lula and the attack on Bolsonaro in the background.
  • In June 2019, Adélio Bispo was absolved after a judge ruled he was mentally ill, converting his preventive detention into an indefinite internment in a mental facility within the federal prison system. In light of this, it would not be possible to grant Adélio a pardon.