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.


Infiltrated Lula supporter was not behind Brazil’s capital riot

False allegation: Social media users in Brazil have shared the claim that Ana Priscila Azevedo, arrested by the federal police on Tuesday for allegedly organizing the attacks on government buildings in Brasilia on Sunday, was an infiltrated supporter of the leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.


  • Administrator of former president Jair Bolsonaro supporters groups on Telegram with more than 30,000 followers, Ana Priscila Azevedo made a series of posts in the days leading up to the attack, calling people to come to Brasilia.
  • On an account attributed to Azevedo on Twitter, since 2021 she had been praising the actions of the Armed Forces and recently posted a photo alongside former Vice President Hamilton Mourão. The profile also followed a series of accounts favorable to a “military intervention” after Bolsonaro’s defeat in October 30 presidential run-off.


EU not considering “climate lockdown” for member states

False claim: Social media users in Spain have shared the claim that the European Union is considering the implementation of a “climate lockdown” for member states that exceed certain levels of pollution.


  • A search of the European Commission's website and its official social media accounts finds no record of statements about implementing a “climate lockdown.” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has also not made any post or comment on the subject.
  • In a statement to Spanish fact-checking agencies Maldita and Newtral, a spokesperson for the European Commission said that the content shared on social media is “completely false.”
  • Last December, a similar content went viral, claiming that the English city of Oxford was planning to start a "climate lockdown" trial. According to the rumor, the plan would prevent residents from leaving their neighborhoods without permission from local authorities.


World Economic Forum did not call for decriminalizing pedophilia

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a screenshot of an article with the following headline: “World Economic Forum Declares Pedophiles ‘Will Save Humanity’”.

According to the posts, the organization is now “arguing that laws against ‘age gap love,’ more commonly known as pedophilia, ‘violate human rights’.”


  • The article in question was published by a website called NewsPunch, which is famous for promoting misinformation and sharing conspiracy theories.
  • In a statement to Reuters and AFP, a spokesperson for the World Economic Forum said that the claim circulating on the web is “completely made up” and that the organization “has never made any statement of this kind.”
  • A search of the World Economic Forum's website and its official social media accounts finds no record of any statement about decriminalizing pedophilia.


Al-Nassr did not sack player over refusal to give his jersey number to Cristiano Ronaldo

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared the claim that Saudi soccer club Al-Nassr allegedly fired the Uzbek player Jaloliddin Masharipov for refusing to cede his jersey number to the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.


  • After a tumultuous departure from Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo signed a two-year contract with Saudi club Al-Nassr, where he will wear the No. 7 jersey, the same number used by the player in other clubs and in the Portugal national team.
  • Before Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival, Al-Nassr’s number 7 shirt was indeed worn by the Uzbek player Jaloliddin Masharipov. However, according to information from the club, the player agreed at the end of 2022 to change his number from 7 to 77.
  • Training pictures posted by the player on Instagram and on the club’s certified Facebook account show Masharipov wearing the number 77 shirt days before the official announcement that Cristiano Ronaldo would be joining the team.
  • Regarding the possible departure of Masharipov, with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, the number of foreigners in Al-Nassr rose to nine, one player more than allowed for each club by the Saudi Football Federation. Now, according to information from the Spanish newspaper Marca, Masharipov is due to leave the team in the next transfer window.


Video does not show world’s first “artificial womb facility”

False claim: Social media users in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines have shared a video of what it is claimed to be the world's first “artificial womb facility,” that would allow parents to choose their babies' characteristics.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was originally posted on YouTube on December 9, 2022 by science communicator and video producer Hashim Al-Ghaili.
  • During the clip, a voiceover says that “the concept of the EctoLife installation was designed by biotechnologist and science communicator Hashem Al-Ghaili.”
  • Speaking to AFP, Al-Ghaili said that the video is an “animation” created only as a “concept.”