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 U.S. tanks on a train in Poland

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a video of a train transporting military combat vehicles along a snowy field, accompanied by the claim that the images show U.S. tanks in Poland. According to the posts, the equipment was assigned to the Ukrainian forces.


  • The claim originated after President Joe Biden announced on January 25, 2023 that the U.S. will send to Ukrainian forces 31 M1 Abrams tanks, among the most powerful ground weapons in the U.S. arsenal. During his statement, Biden also acknowledged that delivering the tanks to the field will “take time.”
  • In a statement to The Associated Press, Eddie Johnson, author of the video, said that the clip was made while he was driving on Highway 40 outside Gorham, in Kansas.
  • According to Johnson, he posted the video on Twitter on January 24 as “kind of a joke” in response to another tweet that said Biden was “considering” sending tanks to Ukraine. “Is that decision already made? This is Kansas today,” Johnson wrote in his post.


TV station did not report that gas stoves increase risk of cardiovascular events

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a screenshot of an alleged tweet by Albuquerque news station KOB 4 informing that “a new study published found that homes with gas stoves have a 47.3% increased risk of cardiovascular events.” The post also states that the study found that “gas stove usage jumped enormously in 2020.”


  • In a statement to AFP, a spokesperson for KOB 4 said the screenshot shared on social media was manipulated from an actual tweet by the news station on January 12 that reads: “A study published in late 2022 found 12.7% of childhood asthma cases are linked to homes with a gas stove.”
  • Published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) in December 2022, the study does not mention any alleged increased risk of cardiovascular events in homes with gas stoves.
  • Many social media users have shared the manipulated tweet insinuating that the alleged data was an evidence that there is a conspiracy to cover up links between rare cardiovascular events and COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The world's leading health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), say that myocarditis –inflammation of the heart muscle– and pericarditis –inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart– are rare side effects of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and that in most cases patients recover quickly, thus certifying that the benefits of the vaccination far outweigh any risks.

United Kingdom

It is not true that 18 million Americans have been left seriously injured by COVID-19 vaccines

False claim: Social media users in the United Kingdom have shared the claim that, according to data from the U.S.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18 million Americans have reportedly been “seriously injured” after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. The posts include a screenshot of an article published on the American Liberty Report blog with the following headline: “Court orders CDC to release data showing 18 million vaccine injuries in America.”


  • The alleged data referred to in the posts comes from a CDC safety monitoring system called v-safe, in which members of the public use a mobile phone app to provide feedback on their health status after taking the vaccine.
  • This data was later used by the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), an anti-vax non-profit group based in Texas, to make the following statement: “Out of the approximate 10 million individuals that registered and submitted data to v-safe, 782,913 individuals, or over 7.7% of v-safe users, had a health event requiring medical attention, emergency room intervention, and/or hospitalization.”
  • Subsequently, the American Liberty Report blog rounded this number to 8% and applied the ratio to the total vaccinated population of the United States, coming to the false conclusion that “as many as 18 million of the 230 million people who received at least one shot may have been hospitalized with an adverse reaction.”
  • Contrary to what the American Liberty Report blog suggests, the CDC data does not say that every “health event” recorded in v-safe led to a hospitalization. In fact, according to the CDC, this occurred in less than 10% of recorded health events –or 0.7% of all respondents.
  • This data, according to the CDC, includes all reports of people seeking medical attention within one year of being vaccinated, regardless of whether or not the incident was actually linked to the vaccine.

Latin America

Video does not show Putin announcing military support for Bolivia in case of war with Peru

False claim: Social media users in Spain and Latin America have shared a video of a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by a caption indicating that he allegedly announced military support for Bolivia in the event of a war with neighbouring Peru.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media is an excerpt from a speech Putin gave on December 21, 2022 during a meeting with Russian military officials.
  • The full transcript of the meeting, available in English and Russian on the Kremlin's official website, shows that at no point did Putin refer to Bolivia or Peru.
  • The false claim comes amid a deep political crisis in Peru following the ousting and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo, who attempted a coup on December 7, 2022.
  • In recent weeks, a series of protests calling for the resignation of Dina Boluarte, who took office, have left at least 48 people dead. Most of these demonstrations have taken place in the border region with Bolivia, which, according to reports in the local press, has led to growing tension between the governments of the two countries.


Tanzania has not banned the use of Swahili in its secondary schools

False claim: Social media users in Africa have shared the claim that the Tanzanian government has allegedly banned Swahili as a language of instruction in the country's secondary schools.

According to the posts, the alleged new directive was issued by an official from the Tanzanian Ministry of Education.


  • Speaking to AFP, Tanzanian government spokesperson Nteghenjwa Hosseah said that the information circulating on social media is false and that both Swahili and English will continue to be used in secondary schools across the country.
  • The rumour appears to have originated from the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, which claimed in a post on its official Twitter account that Tanzania would ban Swahili from its secondary schools.
  • After being corrected by the Tanzanian government's chief spokesman, Gerson Msigwa, Deutsche Welle tweeted a retraction, acknowledging the error in its earlier publication.