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.


Climate change is not driven by solar activity and lunar phases

False claim: Social media users in the U.S. have shared a video in which British astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, a known climate change denier, claims that rising temperatures on Earth “are dictated by solar activity and the moon.” “They have nothing to do with mankind,” says Corby, according to whom those who argue that human activity contributes to climate change are “just trying to make money.”


  • The video shared on social media is an excerpt from an interview given by Corbyn in August 2010 to the Russian state-funded news channel RT, deemed by the U.S. State Department as a critical element “in Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem.”
  • According to information from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “by increasing the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, human activities are amplifying Earth’s natural greenhouse effect.”
  • “Virtually all climate scientists agree that this increase in heat-trapping gases is the main reason for the 1.8°F (1.0°C) rise in global average temperature since the late nineteenth century,” the agency states.
  • More than 200 scientific organizations around the world agree that human action is primarily responsible for global warming, a view corroborated by the latest report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), written by more than 700 scientists from 90 different countries.
  • Recently, Piers Corbyn shared a number of conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus pandemic, criticizing public health measures and even comparing the UK's COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the Holocaust.


Ukrainian officials did not use U.S.

funds to buy properties in Switzerland

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared the claim that top Ukrainian officials bought luxury properties in Switzerland using some of the funds given by the U.S. to help the country defend itself in the war against Russia.


  • A reverse search shows that the claim was originally published on June 8, 2022 by the Newspunch, a website known for spreading disinformation on various subjects.
  • The article published by Newspunch claims to show as the source of the information Swiss land registry documents that allegedly prove that three people who have ties to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky purchased luxury properties in the exclusive resort town of Gstaad.
  • In a statement to Politifact, Adrian Mühlematter, a managing land registry administrator at the Land Registry Oberland, which keeps records about properties in Gstaad, said that the documents in the Newspunch article were forgeries, containing inconsistencies, such as identifying numbers with insufficient digits.


Elon Musk has not announced plans to buy Snapchat

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a screenshot of a purported tweet from billionaire Elon Musk in which he states: “Next I'm buying Snapchat and deleting all the filters.

Welcome back to reality, ladies.”


  • A search of Elon Musk's verified Twitter account, including deleted or archived messages, shows that he has not made any posts announcing his intention to buy Snapchat. His most recent post citing this social network occurred on May 22, 2022 when he commented on its stock price.
  • There are also at least two indications that the screenshot was doctored. The first is that the time and date on the post are not aligned with the text of the message, which is standard on the platform. The second is that the viral post inserts the date as "NOV 20", when the month format on Twitter is only the first letter of the month in uppercase.

Latin America

Messi did not step on a Mexico jersey after Argentina's World Cup win

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared an image of Argentine player Lionel Messi, alongside the claim that it shows the athlete stepping on a Mexico national team jersey.


  • The image circulating on social media is a screenshot of a video showing the Argentine players celebrating in the locker room after their 2-0 victory over Mexico in the second round of Group C of the Qatar World Cup.
  • In the video, reportedly recorded by the Argentinean player Nicolás Otamendi and available on YouTube, it is possible to see that Messi does not step on the Mexico jersey, but only touches it with his right foot when trying to take off his boot.
  • Later in the video, already without his boots, the Argentinean player is seen jumping, but avoiding stepping on the Mexico national team jersey.


Pfizer's COVID-19 drug Paxlovid does not have the same mechanism of action as ivermectin

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared the claim that Pfizer's COVID-19 drug Paxlovid has the same mechanism of action as ivermectin.

“I loved to learn that Pfizer's new drug for early treatment of Covid has the very same mechanism of action as ivermectin (3CL protease inhibitor). Differences: Ivermectin, 5 reais; Paxlovid, 530 dollars. Naughty Pfizer, and dumb people,” reads the caption of some of the posts.


  • Contrary to what the posts on social media claim, the two drugs, according to the manufacturers, do not have the same mechanism of action. Paxlovid is an antiviral, while ivermectin is an antiparasitic.
  • In a statement to the Brazilian fact-checking agency Fato ou Fake, Pfizer says that Paxlovid “is a combination of two molecules (nirmatrelvir + ritonavir), and belongs to the class of protease inhibitors, acting to inhibit an enzyme (protease) that SARS-CoV-2 uses to replicate - the 3CL”.
  • Contrary to what the posts claim, ivermectin has no inhibitory effect on the 3CL, acting only to paralyze the muscles of roundworms, causing their death.
  • In February 2021, the pharmaceutical company Merck, which is responsible for manufacturing ivermectin, reported that no data were available to support the drug's efficacy against COVID-19. On March 31 of the same year, the World Health Organization recommended that ivermectin not be used to treat patients with COVID-19.