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.


FIFA will not display Pelé's feet in its museum

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared the claim that FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, plans to display the feet of the late Brazilian soccer legend Pelé in its museum in Zurich, Switzerland.


  • After the rumor went viral on social media, a FIFA spokesperson told the press that the claim is completely false and that the federation has no plans to display Pelé's feet in its museum in Switzerland.
  • Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé died on December 29, at the age of 82, due to multiple organ failure. The three-time world champion was readmitted to hospital in late November to treat a colon cancer that was diagnosed in September 2021.


World Economic Forum did not recommend killing pets to fight climate change

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared the claim that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has advocated for the mass slaughter of domestic cats and dogs to fight climate change.

According to the posts, which feature an image of a dog in a cage and the German economist Klaus Schwab, founder and CEO of the WEF, that would help reduce the “carbon pawprint” these animals produce as a result of eating meat.


  • A search of the World Economic Forum's website and its social media accounts found no statements advocating for the slaughter of dogs and cats.
  • A spokesperson for the WEF confirmed to AFP that the claim on social media is false and that the institution has never advocated such a policy.
  • In recent years, the WEF has published articles on its website highlighting the benefits of pets to mental health and the positive environmental impact of switching pets from meat-based to insect protein-based diets.


No evidence Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin’s collapse was caused by COVID-19 vaccine

False claim: After Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during an NFL game on January 2, social media users in the United States began sharing the claim that the athlete's cardiac arrest was caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.


  • In a statement published on January 3, the Buffalo Bills informed that Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest "following a hit" in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • To date, both the doctors treating the athlete and his family members have not suggested at any time that the cardiac arrest could have any relation to the COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, Hamlin's vaccination status is not publicly known.
  • Experts consulted by Politifact said, based on videos of the game, that Hamlin's cardiac arrest was likely caused by an underlying heart condition or the rare event known as commotio cordis, which indicates sudden death from cardiac arrhythmia caused by the impact of an object against the left side of the chest.
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, social media users have shared a number of rumors about alleged episodes of cardiac arrest among athletes that were caused by the vaccine. However, scientific research indicates that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and that the risk of heart inflammation is greater from COVID-19 infection than the vaccine.

Latin America

Argentina's central bank does not plan to feature Messi's face on the 1,000-peso bill

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared the claim that Argentina's central bank is planning to launch a special series of 1,000-peso banknotes with Lionel Messi's face, after the country's national team won the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.


  • In a statement to Argentine fact-checking agency Chequeado, the press office of the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) said that there are no plans to launch a commemorative banknote with Messi's face.
  • A search on the BCRA website shows that the current 1,000-peso bill in circulation feature the Rufous hornero, Argentina's national bird.
  • Last May, the BCRA announced a special series of banknotes featuring some of the country's historical figures, and the face chosen for the 1,000-peso note was that of the Argentine independence hero José de San Martín.


Image does not show men marrying young girls in Morocco

False claim: Social media users in Africa have shared a picture of young girls in white dresses holding hands with men in suits, along with the claim that Morocco had legalized marriage between adult men and underage girls.


  • A reverse image search shows that the picture was originally published on stock photo agency Alamy's website, accompanied by the following caption: "Palestinians celebrate during a mass wedding organized by Association of Altayseer for marriage. Around 60 young Palestinians Participated in the wedding in Gaza City on April 19, 2012."
  • The image is credited to photographer Ashraf Amra, who in a statement to AFP informed that the young girls in the picture are not brides, but relatives of the bride and groom, and that it is a local tradition for them to wear white dresses like the brides.
  • Since 2004, Moroccan legislation has set the legal age of marriage in the country at 18, but includes a clause allowing judges to give families special permission to marry underage children.