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.


News that George Soros died of a heart attack is false

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared the claim that Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros died in May after a heart attack.


  • In a post on his official Twitter account on May 15, Soros said: “Rumors that I had a heart attack are completely false. I am alive and healthy”.
  • An internet search shows that no major media outlet or news agency has published anything about Soros' alleged death.
  • Founder of the Open Society, a charity that promotes human rights around the world, Soros, who is Jewish and born in Hungary, is a constant target of conspiracy theories from far-right groups.

United Kingdom

The WHO has not declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic

False claim: Several British media outlets, such as The Sun, Channel 5 and LBC, have recently announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly declared the COVID-19 pandemic over.


  • At a press conference held on May 5 to present the WHO's new strategic plan titled “From emergency response to long-term COVID-19 disease management: sustaining gains made during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organization's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency (...) However, that does not mean that Covid-19 is over as a global health threat. This virus is here to stay. It is still killing and it is still changing.”
  • In a statement posted on its website, the WHO clarifies that the declaration of the end of the global health emergency “does not mean that the pandemic itself is over.” According to the organization, “millions continue to be infected or re-infected with SARS-CoV-2 and thousands of people are dying each week.”


Video does not show poll staff filling in ballots ahead of general election in Thailand

False claim: Social media users in Thailand have shared a video from a security camera in which Thai Election Commission staff can be seen working in a room full of boxes and papers.

According to the posts, the footage shows staff filling in the ballots that were to be used in the general election on May 14.


  • On May 3, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced that it had installed security cameras at more than 30 polling stations, and that the work at these stations would be streamed live on the web.
  • As reported by local newspaper Thairath, the clip circulating on social media shows work at one of these polling stations. The top left-hand corner of the original footage indicates that the scene was captured on May 10, at 7:16 pm.
  • In a post on its official Facebook page on May 11, the Election Commission of Thailand said that the footage circulating on the web actually shows polling station staff signing ballot booklets covers as part of their routine administrative tasks. “We can confirm that the officials did not mark the ballot for the eligible voters,” reads the statement.
  • According to information published on page 10 of the election commission's manual for handling voting ballots, after the election officials verify the number of ballots, they must sign their name on the ballot booklet's front cover before they can be sent to polling stations.


International Criminal Court has not ordered Nigeria to stop president-elect Bola Tinubu’s swearing-in

False claim: Social media users in Africa have shared the claim that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has reportedly ordered Nigeria's judiciary to stop president-elect Bola Tinubu’s swearing-in.

“The chairman of the ICC ‘Greg Barclay’ has ordered ‘Olukayode Ariwoola’ the Chief Justice of Nigeria to halt Tinubu's swearing-in as president until the presidential fate is well decided by the court,” reads the caption of some of the posts.


  • According to information posted on its website, the ICC “investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.” It would therefore not be within the scope of the ICC to stop Bola Tinubu’s swearing-in.
  • An internet search shows that, contrary to what the viral posts claim, Greg Barclay is not president of the International Criminal Court, but of the International Cricket Council, whose acronym is also ICC.
  • In a statement to the fact-checking agency Africa Check, Fadi El Abdallah, a spokesperson for the ICC, said that the court “did not make any order of that kind.”
  • Bola Tinubu is set to be sworn in as Nigeria’s president on 29 May. He will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been in power since 2015. Rivals, however, are contesting Tinubu's victory in court, but a verdict on the case is not expected until after the inauguration.

Latin America

Video does not show how “plastic rice” is produced

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared a video that shows a worker putting sheets of plastic into a machine.

The clip then shows the material being cut into long strips and, after passing through another machine, the result is small grains, similar to rice. The caption to the posts reads: “This is how plastic rice is made.”


  • A reverse image search shows that a longer, higher resolution version of the video was posted on YouTube in June 2017. Although the description of the post makes the same false claim about the supposed “plastic rice,” at one point in the footage it can be seen that the final product is placed in a bag with the word EVA printed on it.
  • EVA is the acronym for ethylene vinyl acetate, a chemical product achieved by polymerizing the vinyl acetate monomer with ethylene in a high-pressure system. This polymer is used in a wide range of industries, from footwear to sporting goods and school supplies.
  • The bag also bears the logo of Hanwha Total Petrochemical Company Limited, a chemical company based in South Korea that manufactures and sells EVA plastic granules.