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.


Sweden did not officially declare sex a sport

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared the claim that Sweden has officially declared sex a sport and that the country will even host the first European Sex Championship this month. This same information has even been shared by a number of media outlets around the world in articles published over the past few days.


  • An article published by the Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten on April 26, 2023 reports that the Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) denied the Swedish Sex Federation's (SSF) application for membership.
  • The article also states that Dragan Bratic, the man who founded the SSF – which seeks recognition of sex as a sport in the country –, is known for managing a number of strip clubs in the Swedish city of Jönköping.
  • Speaking last January to Swedish news channel TV4's “Efter Fem” program after the SSF submitted the application for membership, RF president Björn Eriksson said: “I just hope this nonsense goes away. It will be a unanimous no from us.”
  • According to a press release issued by RF in April on the matter, the rejection was due to an incomplete application.


Arc de Triomphe has not been decorated with a giant rainbow installation to celebrate Pride Month

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a video showing an alleged giant rainbow decorating the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to celebrate Pride Month.

Some of the posts claim that the art installation, which encircles the monument and ends over the road with a cloud-shaped sculpture and the phrase “marche des fiertés” (“pride parade” in French), has “defaced” the famous tourist spot in the French capital.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video that went viral on the web was originally posted on Twitter on June 1, 2023 by digital artist Ian Padgham, accompanied by the following caption: “Arc-en-ciel de Triomphe, Paris. Happy #PrideMonth everyone!!”
  • In a reply to another Twitter user's comment questioning whether the video was made using artificial intelligence, Ian replied: “No AI was used. Just me doing 3D animation and lots of hand-edited details.”
  • In a statement to the AP, Ian said that the video is a mix of images recorded by him and visual effects created using programs such as Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D.
  • “It was intended to just be a really positive message of support as an ally and someone who loves the community,” said the 41-year-old artist, who was born in California and currently lives in France.


No evidence Mexican cartel obtained U.S.

weapons destined for Ukraine

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a video of a Mexican television news program, alongside the claim that it allegedly reported that anti-tank missile systems sent by the United States to Ukraine ended up in the hands of a Mexican cartel.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media is a clip from a report on the Mexican television show “Azucena a Las 10,” broadcasted by Milenio Televisión.
  • On May 31, journalist Azucena Uresti, the anchor of the show, posted the same video on her Twitter account. In the clip, in Spanish, it is possible to hear her saying: “An alleged member of the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas was recorded carrying one of the most exclusive and powerful weapons, a Javelin, which in theory is only sold to the army and has been used during the invasion of Ukraine.”
  • At no point in the recording does Azucena state or suggest that the weapon was diverted from Ukraine to the Mexican cartel.
  • An article published on the same day on Milenio Televisión’s website uses similar language, saying only that the weapon in the hands of a member of Los Escorpiones, a Gulf Cartel cell, “is only sold to armies and was widely used during the invasion of Ukraine.”
  • Speaking to the AP, Mark Hvizda, a defense analyst at RAND Corporation, an American global policy think tank and research institute, reported that the weapon featured in the video is not a Javelin, but an AT4, another anti-tank weapon that fires grenades, usually produced by a Swedish company and widely used by armed forces around the world.


European Medicines Agency has not claimed that COVID-19 vaccines can have an adverse effect on female fertility

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared the claim that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has reportedly admitted that COVID-19 vaccines may have an adverse effect on female fertility.


  • A search of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website and its social media accounts finds no information that COVID-19 vaccines may have adverse effects on female fertility.
  • In a statement to Snopes, an EMA spokesperson said that “the claims circulating online alleging that EMA is advising pregnant women not to receive COVID-19 vaccines as these would 'cause infertility' are false.” “These statements appear to be part of a deliberate disinformation campaign,” he added.
  • According to a report published on the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) website, and updated on March 8, 2023 “there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility and your ability to have children.”

Latin America

Mount Etna recent eruption did not release more CO₂ than all human activity

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared the claim that the recent eruption of Mount Etna on the Italian island of Sicily has released more CO₂ into the atmosphere in just 12 hours than all human activity since the industrial revolution.


  • Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna erupted on May 21, spewing ash and rock and causing the closure of Catania airport.
  • Scientific data published in recent years, however, show that the CO₂ released by volcanic activities – including eruptions – are dwarfed by the emissions generated by human activity.
  • In a document published on October 1, 2019 gathering results from more than 10 years of research, the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), a group of more than 1,200 scientists from 55 countries aiming to better understand Earth’s carbon cycle, informed that volcanic activities release between 280 and 360 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Based on the data collected over the period, the document concludes that “humanity’s annual carbon emissions through the burning of fossil fuels and forests, etc., are 40 to 100 times greater than all volcanic emissions.”
  • Another research, published on June 24, 2011 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), informs that CO₂ emissions generated by human activity totaled 35 billion tons in 2010.