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.


Picture of Vladimir Putin kneeling before Xi Jinping during a meeting in Moscow is AI-generated

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared an alleged picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin kneeling before his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on the occasion of a bilateral meeting held in Moscow on March 20 and 21, 2023.


  • A search on the archives of both the main news agencies that covered the meeting and the Kremlin's official website found no record of the image shared on social media.
  • An analysis of the alleged picture of Putin kneeling before Xi Jinping shows a number of clues that indicate that the image was generated by an artificial intelligence app. Among the inconsistencies, the most striking are the size and shape of the left foot of the person who’s kneeling, which is disproportionately large and wide, the head of the same person, which is also disproportionately larger than the rest of the body, and the hands of the man in the background, which appear to be fused together.


Video of pro-Trump rally in New York not from 2023

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a video that shows a large number of supporters of former President Donald Trump blocking traffic near Trump Tower in New York City.

According to the posts, the demonstration was called to show support for Trump “ahead of his potential arrest.”


  • A reverse image search shows that the clip shared on social media, in fact, was recorded on October 4, 2020 during a demonstration down Fifth Avenue after Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • In the clip, it is even possible to see that several demonstrators carry flags from Trump's re-election campaign, who would end up defeated at the polls that year by Democrat Joe Biden.
  • The video with the false claim began circulating after Trump posted on his Truth Social account that he expected to be arrested during the week. “Protest, take our nation back,” reads the message.
  • The Manhattan District Attorney's office signaled recently they could arrest Trump on charges related to the purported payment of $130,000 before the 2016 election to stop actress Stormy Daniels from going public about an alleged affair with Trump.

Spain/Latin America

Video does not show trans and cis women fighting in a Jiu Jitsu tournament

False claim: Social media users in Spain and Latin America have shared a video of two people fighting in a Jiu Jitsu tournament, accompanied by the claim that the clip shows a cis woman and a trans woman.

“This is how a fight is between a giant trans man and a young woman who has been working hard for years to try to get a medal,” reads the caption of some of the posts.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media was originally posted on October 6, 2014 by a YouTube channel called Knockem or Lockem.
  • According to the video description, the clip shows Mackenzie Lynne Dern and Gabrielle Lemos Garcia disputing the final of the women's black belt open class category of the IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi World Championships, held in California that year. Open class means that the category is not divided into weight classes.
  • According to the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), there is no record that Gabrielle Lemos Garcia, pointed out as trans in the publications, is not a cis woman. She has been competing professionally in the women's categories since 2008, and has won, among others, nine world championships and eleven Pan American Jiu-Jitsu titles.
  • The false claim comes amid the recent approval in the Spanish Congress of the Bill for the real and effective equality of trans people and for the guarantee of the rights of LGTBI people, also called the Trans bill, which seeks to guarantee and promote the right to real and effective equality of lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex people, as well as their families.
  • Article 26.3 of this bill states that: “In sports practices, events and competitions in the field of federated sport, the provisions of the specific applicable national, regional and international regulations, including anti-doping rules, which, in a justified and proportionate manner, aim to avoid competitive advantages that may be contrary to the principle of equality, must be observed.”



Navy’s Justice has not sentenced Janssen scientist to death

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared the claim that the U.S. Navy’s Justice has sentenced to death Janssen’s global head of Research and Development, Richard Tillyer, for acting as an accomplice in an alleged mass murder promoted by the company's COVID-19 vaccine.


  • A reverse search shows that the statement circulating on social media was originally published on February 17, 2023 by the Real Raw News website, which describes itself on its “About Us” page as a site that “contains humor, parody, and satire.”
  • A search of the web pages of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. State Department finds no information about the alleged arrest of Richard Tillyer, or any other scientist connected to the Janssen.
  • Under U.S. law, military personnel are not authorized to enforce the law against civilians, except in specific cases authorized by the Constitution or Congress.
  • Janssen's COVID-19 vaccine is recommended as safe and effective by both the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO).


Video does not show U.S.

forces attacking a Chinese ship off the Philippine coast

False claim: Social media users in the Philippines have shared a video of an explosion at sea, accompanied by the claim that the clip shows U.S. military forces attacking a Chinese ship off the west coast of the Philippines.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media is available on the website of the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), linked to the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • According to the video's description, the clip was recorded in the Atlantic Ocean on June 18, 2021 during "Full Ship Shock Trials" for the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford.
  • “The U.S. Navy conducts shock trials of new ship designs using live explosives to confirm that our warships can continue to meet demanding mission requirements under harsh conditions they might encounter in battle,” reads the description on DVIDS.
  • The false claim spread on social media after Vice President Kamala Harris recently visited the Philippine island of Palawan, which is near the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, over which Beijing claims sovereignty, ignoring an international court ruling that its claims have no legal basis.
  • Since Kamala Harris' visit, Manila and Washington have announced their largest-ever joint military exercises, agreed to restart joint patrols in the South China Sea and struck a deal to give American troops access to four military bases in the Southeast Asian country.