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.

Please send us tips or claims to check at this email or at this X/Twitter account @BNFactCheck. Read this page to better understand our submission guidelines.

Journalist arrested in child pornography case has no connection to “Pizzagate”

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a screenshot of a purported article from the New York Post with the headline “Award winning ABC journalist who 'debunked' Pizzagate, pleads guilty in horrific child porn case,” accompanied by an alleged photo of the journalist.

Also on social media, users have shared a meme that makes a clear reference to the alleged article published by the New York Post, including Elon Musk, who added the following comment in his post: “Does seem at least a little suspicious.”


  • “Pizzagate” is a conspiracy theory that emerged during the 2016 U.S. presidential election that alleges without any basis that high-level Democratic politicians, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are involved in a child sex trafficking ring that operates out of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong.
  • A reverse image search shows that the picture illustrating the alleged New York Post article is of former ABC News journalist James Gordon Meek, who in September 2023 was sentenced to 6 years in prison “for transportation and possession of child sexual abuse material.”
  • A search on the ABC News website shows that Meek, who covered national security issues until his resignation last year, never published any reports on “Pizzagate.”
  • A search on the New York Post website shows that no article with the title that went viral on social media was published by the newspaper.
  • Elon Musk later deleted the meme promoting the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory from his account on X.

Old picture of ammunition falsely shared as showing U.S.

military aid to Israel

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a picture of ammunition, accompanied by the claim that the image shows military aid sent by the U.S. to Israel in the current war against Hamas. "The third batch of American aid to the Palestinian children has arrived," reads the caption of some of the posts.


  • A reverse image search shows that the viral image was originally published in October 2014, on the website of a U.S. Air Force base in Gunsan, South Korea.
  • “More than 80 Blu-109 and Mark-84 bombs sit on display at the Wolf Pack Munitions Storage Area, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, following a successful emergency destruction of munitions simulation, Oct. 23, 2014,” reads the image's caption.

Bank of Spain has not recommended keeping 6 to 12 months of fixed expenses in cash at home

False claim: Social media users in Spain have shared the claim that the Bank of Spain has recommended that the country's population keep between 6 and 12 months of fixed expenses in cash at home for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.


  • In a post on its official account on X on December 11, the Bank of Spain states: “News have been circulating about a recommendation from @BancoDeEspana to keep a certain amount of #cash at home for emergencies. It's not true."
  • The post is accompanied by a short video with information on the subject and a link to an article published on the Finanzas para Todos (Finance for All) blog (an initiative of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the Bank of Spain and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation), titled “La importancia de contar con un fondo de emergencia (The importance of having an emergency fund).”
  • The text, which talks about the importance of having an emergency fund to deal with unplanned expenses, makes it clear that “there is no need to keep cash at home.”

Image does not show South Africa’s main airport selling unclaimed luggage

False claim: Facebook pages allegedly linked to O.R.

Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, have shared an image showing hundreds of suitcases inside a warehouse and between them two yellow signs with the following message written in black: “Lost luggage, R38 [about $2].” According to the posts, the image has been recorded at O.R. Tambo International Airport and shows lost and unclaimed luggage being sold due to the lack of space for its storage.


  • A reverse image search shows that the picture shared on the Facebook pages was originally published in July 2023 in a Reddit community for content related to the Italian city of Florence.
  • According to the user who posted it, the image was taken by a family member who, after losing his luggage at Florence airport, was taken by airport staff to a hangar where all lost and unclaimed luggage was kept.
  • A comparison of the original picture posted on Reddit with the one shared on the Facebook pages makes it clear that the yellow signs have been digitally added to the image.
  • In a post on its official X account on November 20, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), which operates South Africa's main airports, including O.R. Tambo, warned passengers "to beware of baggage scams on social media, and syndicates claiming to sell lost/unclaimed baggage from any of our airports.”