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.


Videos do not show Russian military engaging with Wagner forces

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared videos of alleged fighting that took place last weekend between Russian military and mercenaries from the Wagner Group. The images allegedly show a clash in the city of Rostov-on-Don and another involving a Russian Air Force fighter jet.


  • A reverse image search indicates that the first video, which allegedly shows clashes between Russian forces and the Wagner Group in the city of Rostov-on-Don, was originally published in August 2017 in numerous press articles about an armed confrontation between Mexican military and members of the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas, near the U.S. border.
  • Regarding the second video, that according to the posts allegedly shows the “Russian Air Force Engaging Wagner PMC Ground Troops on the M4” highway, which connects Moscow to Rostov-on-Don, a reverse image search shows that the footage, in fact, was posted on a YouTube channel called Battle POPs on March 31, 2023. According to the video description, the images are from Bohemia Interactive’s military simulation game “Arma 3.”
  • On the night of June 23, Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group, a private army of mercenaries hired by Russia to operate in various regions of the world, especially now in eastern Ukraine, started a mutiny against the Russian military leadership, accusing it of having failed in the War in Ukraine, taking control of the strategic city of Rostov-on-Don and advancing on Saturday with an armed convoy up to 120 miles from Moscow.
  • Also on Saturday, after negotiating with Moscow, Prigozhin ordered his men back to their bases to avoid a “bloodshed.” According to official reports, Prigozhin, who later insisted that the mutiny was not an attempt to overthrow Putin’s government, is now in exile in Belarus.

South Korea

Picture does not show Chinese leaders in an emergency meeting to discuss Wagner mutiny

False claim: Social media users in South Korea have shared a picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping and other country’s top officials, alongside the claim that the image shows an “emergency meeting” to discuss the recent Wagner Group mutiny in Russia.


  • A reverse image search shows that the picture was taken in Beijing on September 30, 2021 by AFP photographer Greg Baker.
  • The caption of the picture, available in the AFP archives, reads: “Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) arrives with Premier Li Keqiang (L) and members of the Politburo Standing Committee for a reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the eve of China's National Day on September 30, 2021.”
  • On Sunday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the Wagner Group mutiny began, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it supported Russia “in protecting national stability and achieving development and prosperity,” adding that the issue was Russia's “internal affair.”


Titan Sub victim Shahzada Dawood was not vice chairman of the World Economic Forum

False claim: After the U.S.

Coast Guard announced on June 22 the “catastrophic implosion” of the Titan submersible, which was taking a crew of five people to see the wreckage of the Titanic, social media users around the world began to share the claim that Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, one of the five victims of the tragedy, was the vice chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Some of the posts point to a profile of Shahzada Dawood posted on the World Economic Forum's website as proof of the claim.


  • Contrary to what the social media posts claim, Shahzada Dawood's profile posted on the World Economic Forum website does not indicate that he is a vice chairman of the organization, but rather that he is the vice chairman of Dawood Hercules Corporation and its subsidiary Engro Corporation.
  • A search on the webpage listing World Economic Forum's leadership does not show Shahzada Dawood. Instead, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is listed there as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
  • In a statement to AP and Reuters, Yann Zopf, a spokesperson for the World Economic Forum, said that Shahzada Dawood was “not Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum, nor an employee.”
  • Shahzada Dawood’s 19-year-old son Suleman, former French navy commander and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding and the submersible's pilot and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, which owned and operated the Titan, Stockton Rush, also died in the tragedy.

USA/Latin America

Video does not show Biden admitting to having sold state secrets

False claim: Social media users in the United States and Latin America have shared a video in which President Joe Biden appears to admit during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to having sold state secrets.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media was recorded on June 23, 2023 at the end of Modi's four-day state visit to the U.S.
  • In addition to Modi and Biden, the event at the White House was attended by executives from major American technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google.
  • The full video, available on the White House YouTube page, and the official transcript of the meeting, available on the White House website, clearly show that Biden was joking when talking about having sold state secrets.
  • “Okay. We — I was just thanking the — anyway, I started off without you, and I sold a lot of state secrets and a lot of very important things that we shared. (Laughter.) Now, all kidding aside — look, we're teaming up to design and develop new technologies that are going to transform the lives of our people around the world,” Biden said.


Picture does not show cash seized from South Africa’s presidential security team

False claim: After the plane carrying the security team accompanying South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on a peace mission to Ukraine was delayed on June 15 at an airport in Poland, social media users shared an image of two suitcases filled with cash, alongside the claim that the money was found on board the South African flight and that this was the reason Polish authorities delayed the flight.


  • A reverse image search shows that the picture shared on social media was originally published in September 2021 in press articles about a seizure that occurred at Inagua International Airport in the Bahamas.
  • According to the articles, two men were arrested after police found during a search that they were trying to enter the country with four suitcases filled with cash.
  • About the delay of the South African flight, the Polish authorities stated that some people on board the aircraft did not have permission to enter the country carrying weapons and could not be allowed to disembark.
  • In a statement to the press, the head of the presidential protection services Major General Wally Rhoode said that the Polish authorities demanded original versions of the necessary permits, and that this was not initially requested.
  • The episode did not affect Ramaphosa, who was traveling on another aircraft and landed as planned in Kiev, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and then in St. Petersburg, where he met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.