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 tsunami hitting Turkey after earthquakes

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a video of a tsunami hitting a coastal city, alongside the claim that the clip was allegedly recorded in Turkey following the massive earthquakes that struck the country and neighboring Syria on February 6, 2023.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video began circulating on social media in 2018, in posts about a tsunami hitting the Indonesian city of Palu.
  • An internet search for the keywords “Palu” and “tsunami” shows a series of news articles reporting that on September 28, 2018 the city of Palu, located on the island of Sulawesi, was hit by a tsunami following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
  • BBC News and CNN reports published on September 29, 2018 contain the same video now shared on social media and wrongly linked to the recent events in Turkey.
  • On February 6, 2023 two earthquakes, of magnitudes 7.8 and 7.5, hit the border between Turkey and Syria, leaving as of this Friday more than 21,000 dead and tens of thousands injured and homeless.


Image does not show dog finding owner after earthquakes in Turkey

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared pictures of a Labrador retriever searching among the rubble of a collapsed building, accompanied by the claim that the images were taken in Turkey after this week's earthquakes.

According to the posts, one of the images shared shows the dog finding its owner.


  • A reverse image search shows that the images shared on social media are actually part of a series uploaded by Czech photographer Jaroslav Noska to Alamy in October 2018.


Adele did not storm out of Grammys during Harry Styles’s speech

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared the claim that Adele stormed out of the Grammy Awards ceremony last Sunday as Harry Styles took the stage to receive the prize for Album of the Year, for which she was also nominated.

The posts are accompanied by a short clip of Adele moving in the audience.


  • The full video of Harry Styles accepting the award, available on the Grammy's official YouTube page, shows that Adele not only did not leave the audience, but also cheered for him during his speech.
  • “On nights like tonight, it's obviously so important for us to remember that there is no such thing as bests in music,” Styles said while accepting the award.


South Korea did not record a spike in cancer cases due to COVID-19 vaccines

False claim: Social media users have shared an image of a purported document from South Korea's Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) – a government organization that reviews and evaluates the costs and services provided in the healthcare sector – that suggests there has been a significant increase in the number of cancer cases in the country following the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out started in February 2021.

The document allegedly says that there were more than three million new cancer cases in 2022, while between 2016 and 2021 this number remained between 1.2 million and 1.5 million. The claim also states that COVID-19 vaccines are the “direct cause” of this alleged spike.


  • In a statement to AFP, a spokesperson for HIRA informed that the numbers seen in the chart represent the number of patients who filed health insurance claims related to cancer each corresponding year, and not the number of new cancer patients.
  • The spokesperson also explained that a claim can be recorded each time a person visits the hospital to be treated for cancer, and that the same patient can make multiple hospital visits per year.
  • According to the latest data published by the National Cancer Center – the cancer research arm of the South Korean government – the number of new cancer cases registered in the country was 257,000 in 2019 and 247,000 in 2020. Data for 2021 and 2022 will still be released towards the end of this year.
  • Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not list cancer as a possible adverse effect of COVID-19 vaccines.


Public hospital does not perform sexual reassignment surgery on children aged 4 and over

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared the claim that the Clinics Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (HCFMUSP) performs sex reassignment surgeries on children aged 4 and over.


  • In a statement to the Brazilian fact-checking agency Lupa, a spokesperson for the HCFMUSP stated that sexual reassignment surgery is only performed on patients aged 18 and over.
  • According to the HCFMUSP, all treatments and procedures offered at the hospital are based on protocols established by the SUS – Brazil's public health system – and follow regulation by Brazil's Federal Council of Medicine (CFM).
  • In 2010, the hospital created the Transdisciplinary Clinic for Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation (Amtigos) to monitor people with gender incongruence. Since 2015, however, only children and teenagers can access the service, being monitored by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals.