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.

It is false that undocumented immigrants are not required to pay taxes in the U.S.

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared the claim that more than 18 million undocumented immigrants in the country are not required to pay taxes.


  • The most recent data from the Department of Homeland Security, published in January 2021, estimates the population of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. at about 11 million.
  • Although undocumented immigrants in the U.S. do not have access to a Social Security number, they can file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). In 2019, according to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 2.5 million tax returns were filed using ITINs, representing almost $6 billion in taxes.
  • In 2010, the Social Security Administration estimated that payments from undocumented immigrants accounted for about $12 billion in tax revenue for Social Security, even though they don't have access to most of the benefits that U.S.citizens are entitled to receive.

Biden has not opened border wall floodgates to let immigrants through

False claim: Social media users in Mexico have shared the claim that President Joe Biden ordered the opening of the border wall floodgates to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to enter the country.

The posts are accompanied by a video in which people can be seen crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, passing through the open floodgates.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media was originally published by the New York Post on August 21, in an article titled: “Open floodgates at Arizona border allow thousands of migrants to walk into the country.”
  • According to the article, U.S. officials have opened “114 massive gates along the Arizona border to allow water to flow freely during the annual monsoon season and for the migration of an endangered species of antelope.”
  • Articles published by the American press in recent years show that the practice of opening the floodgates during the monsoon period has been common in recent years, including during the administration of former President Donald Trump.

Street brawl video falsely linked to ongoing migrant crisis in Lampedusa

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared a video of a street brawl, accompanied by the claim that the footage shows a group of undocumented immigrants assaulting police officers after arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa.


  • In recent days, more than 8,000 immigrants have arrived by boat on the Italian island of Lampedusa – which has a population of around 6,000 people – prompting far-right politicians in the region to raise the tone for stricter measures against this type of immigration in Europe.
  • A reverse image search, however, shows that the video shared on social media was published by far-right Belgian MP Sam Van Rooy on his X account in August 2021.
  • Articles published by the Italian press on August 7, 2021 point out that the images show a brawl outside a nightclub in the town of Marotta, in central Italy. According to the publications, two police officers were injured on the occasion.

Australia and Japan have not “cancelled” incoming migration flows

False claim: During an appearance on September 6 on Rete4's “Fuori dal Coro” show, Italian general Roberto Vannacci said that “immigration is not inevitable”, giving as an example countries like Japan and Australia which, according to him, have limited immigration to “very small numbers” in recent years.


  • Roberto Vannacci recently sparked outrage in Italy after releasing his book “Il mondo al contrario” ("The world upside down"), in which he expresses homophobic, misogynistic and xenophobic opinions. The book led the Italian Army General Staff to dismiss Vannacci from his post as commander of the Military Geographical Institute.
  • According to the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, published in December 2022, between 2011 and 2020 more than 400,000 immigrants entered the country every year, including people on temporary, permanent and special visas. Also according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in August 2021 there were more than 1.6 million people living in the country on temporary visas.
  • The data also shows that there was a sharp drop in immigration between 2020 and 2022, which was not caused by an Australian government migration policy, but rather by the fact that the country's borders remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 and February 2022.
  • As for Japan, the latest figures published by the Immigration Services Agency show that a record 3 million immigrants were living in the country at the end of 2022, an increase of 11.4% (314,578 people) compared to the end of the previous year.