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.

American Red Cross is not refusing people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine from donating blood

False claim: Social media users in the United States have shared a screenshot of the American Red Cross RapidPass system for blood donation with the question “Have you EVER had a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine?” and the instruction to potential donors who answer “yes” to call the Red Cross “before coming in to donate to determine if this will affect your eligibility.” According to the posts, the message indicates that people who have had a COVID-19 vaccine could be considered ineligible to donate blood.


  • In a joint document published on January 26, 2023 the American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB) state that “blood donations from individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine approved or authorized for use in the U.S. are safe for transfusion.”
  • “Similar to other vaccines such as those for measles, mumps or influenza, COVID-19 vaccines are designed to generate an immune response to help protect an individual from illness, but vaccine components themselves do not replicate through blood transfusions or alter a blood recipients’ DNA,” reads the document.
  • The measure described by the American Red Cross in the RapidPass system follows the guidelines established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to which “individuals who received a nonreplicating, inactivated, or mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood without a waiting period,” while “individuals who received a live-attenuated viral COVID-19 vaccine” or “individuals who are uncertain about which COVID-19 vaccine was administered” should “refrain from donating blood for a short waiting period (e.g., 14 days) after receipt of the vaccine.”

Data does not show growing trend in cases of transgender shooters

False claim: After a shooting attack at the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, left two people wounded on February 11, social media users began to share the claim that the suspect of the attack – killed by two off-duty police officers at the scene – was a transgender woman.

Some of the posts even talk about an alleged growing trend in the number of cases of transgender shooters in the United States in recent years, fueled by an alleged radicalization of the LGBTQIAPN+ movement.


  • At a press conference on February 12, Christopher Hassig, commander of the homicide division of the Houston Police Department, reported that through all the investigation to that point the shooter was identified as a cis woman.
  • A report published in June 2020 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a non-profit policy research organization, analyzing 893 armed incidents that occurred between January 1994 and May 2020, indicates that “right-wing attacks and plots account for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States” during that period.
  • According to the document, “right-wing terrorism refers to the use or threat of violence by sub-national or non-state entities whose goals may include racial or ethnic supremacy; opposition to government authority; anger at women, including from the incel (‘involuntary celibate’) movement; and outrage against certain policies, such as abortion.”
  • According to data from the Violence Prevention Project, which collects data on mass shootings in the United States, of the 197 attacks documented since 1966, 192 were carried out by men, four by women and one by a transgender person.
  • A study published in March 2022 by the Williams Institute, a public policy research group on sexual orientation and gender identity at the University of California, Los Angeles, pointed out that transgender people are four times more likely to be victims of violent crime than people whose gender aligns with the gender they were assigned at birth. Another study, published in December 2022 by the same institute, indicated that LGBTQIAPN+ people are nine times more likely to be victims of violent hate crimes than non-LGBTQIAPN+ people.

Valencia apartment building fire did not start at electric car dealership

False claim: Following the major fire that hit two residential towers in the Spanish city of Valencia on February 22, leaving at least 10 people dead, social media users in the country started sharing the claim that the fire started at an electric car dealership located on the first floor.


  • In a post on his X account on February 22, Íñigo Trasmonte, press officer for the Chinese electric vehicle brand BYD in Spain, reported that the fire had not started in the dealership located on the first floor of the building complex. Trasmonte added an image to the post showing the building on fire and the dealership on the first floor with no sign of fire.
  • Videos recorded by social media users at around 5:40 pm on February 22, shortly after the fire broke out, show that the flames had started on the upper floors of the building.
  • According to reports in the Spanish press in recent days, initial investigations suggest that the fire started in an apartment on the seventh floor, after an alleged short circuit in one of the balconies.
  • Both the BYD dealership and the Tedi supermarket on the first floor of the building complex were not affected by the fire.

Video does not show stacks of new naira notes hidden in a warehouse in Nigeria

False claim: Social media users in Nigeria have shared a 30-second video in which men appear to be walking among stacks of boxes in a warehouse.

The posts claim that the images show bundles of newly printed naira [the country's currency] notes that were allegedly hidden there.


  • The claim comes amid a severe cost of living crisis in Nigeria, driven by a high inflation rate and the devaluation of the naira, which led to a series of protests across the country in February demanding action from the government of President Bola Tinubu, who upon taking office in May 2023 initiated a series of reforms that included the elimination of fuel subsidies and strict control of the naira.
  • A reverse image search shows that an extended version of the video was published on YouTube on February 13, 2024 accompanied by the following description: “Kano Agency Exposes Massive Food Hoarding Scandal.”
  • Reports published by the local press on February 12 indicate that the viral video was recorded during an operation by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, which raided 10 warehouses at the Dawanau International Grain Market that were hoarding food such as rice, pasta and sugar.

AI and elections

by David Mazzucchi

Physician report does not state that Biden is at risk “deterioration of intelligence” due to obstructive sleep apnea

False claim: An article from the site World Today News claims that in a recently released physician report on the President, Biden was diagnosed with a number of other ailments including obstructive sleep apnea, which “can lead to memory impairment, decreased performance and deterioration of intelligence.”


  • The article’s initial claim that Biden was “diagnosed” with these conditions in this report, but Biden’s obstructive sleep apnea and spinal arthritis have been noted in such reports from years past.
  • The article also claims that obstructive sleep apnea “can lead to memory impairment, decreased performance and deterioration of intelligence,” but fails to mention that these are the dangers if the condition goes untreated. Joe Biden treats his obstructive sleep apnea with a CPAP machine, which facilitates breathing during sleep.
  • Clues in the format and writing give away that something is amiss. Terms like “decreased performance” and “deterioration of intelligence”, while still comprehensible, are strange choices of words for what one would call “fatigue” and “cognitive impairment,” and could indicate the use of a translating app. The article also has no byline, purported to be written “by world today news”, a telltale sign of misinformation. Newsguard has flagged Word Today News as an “unreliable AI-generated news and information website.”

Democratic operatives admit to creating AI-generated robocall of Joe Biden for Dean Phillips campaign

False claim: On January 20, two days before the Democratic presidential primary, 20,000 New Hampshire Democrats received a robocall with a recorded message, apparently from President Joe Biden, asking them not to vote in the upcoming primary.


  • In a statement first reported by NBC News on February 25, Steve Kramer, a consultant for the Dean Phillips presidential campaign, admitted to sending out the calls and creating an “automated version of President Joe Biden’s voice” with “easy to use online technology.”
  • The deepfake voice message raised concerns throughout government and law enforcement, sparking numerous state and federal investigations, and prompting the FCC to ban the use of AI-generated voices on robocalls under the threat of steep fines.
  • Tech firms have signed pledge at Munich Security Conference to fight deceptive use of AI in 2024 elections. The company that makes the AI tool used in the Biden robocall, ElevenLabs, is part of the pledge. While the statement declares a commitment to combat deceptive AI use in elections, adherence to it is entirely voluntary, and no concrete steps or measures are agreed to through it.