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.

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Image of tractors and hay bales in front of the Eiffel Tower is AI-generated

False claim: Amid recent demonstrations by farmers in France – and other EU countries such as Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland – to complain, among other issues, about falling sales prices, rising costs, heavy regulation and cheap foreign imports, social media users shared an image of tractors and stacks of hay bales in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.


  • A reverse image search shows that the picture was originally published on February 1, 2024 on an Instagram account called, along with a series of other images that mix rural scenes with different spots in Paris.
  • In the description of the publication, the author included the following disclaimer: “This series was generated by AI on Midjourney. To prevent any « Fake News » related to the above photos, please specify when sharing that these are not real but AI-generated images.”
  • Owned by Paris-based artist Vincent Smadja, the account describes itself as a “Merge between Art and AI” and regularly shares AI-generated images.

Video does not show trucker convoy heading to southern border to stop migrant “invasion”

False claim: Social media users have shared a video of a convoy of trucks passing through crowds waving US flags, accompanied by the claim that the images show the vehicles heading to the Texas-Mexico border to protest against the migration policies of President Joe Biden's administration and prevent an “invasion of illegal immigrants.”


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media is part of a two-and-a-half-minute news report published by Business Insider on March 3, 2022.
  • The original video explains that the convoy of trucks that appears in the images are heading from Adelanto, California, to Washington, D.C. to protest against the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Texas governor Greg Abbott did not praise Putin in TV interview

False claim: Amid the ongoing border control battle between Texas authorities and the US federal government, social media users have shared a Fox News interview in which Texas Governor Greg Abbott apparently says that President Joe Biden should learn to work with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for “national interests.”


  • A reverse image search shows that the full video of Greg Abbott's interview was published on January 4, 2024 on the Fox News website and on its YouTube channel. At no point in the original clip does the Texas governor mention Putin.
  • In the video shared on social media, Abbott's speech about Putin occurs when the image cuts from the governor to show some background footage of the southern border. In the original video, however, Abbott says the following in that segment: “If the Biden administration was enforcing the immigration laws passed by Congress, the mayors of New York, the leaders of New Jersey and Chicago, etc ... they would not be having these problems.”

Microsoft has not announced it will disable computers of users who share “non-mainstream content”

False claim: Social media users have shared screenshots of an alleged news article with the following headline: “Microsoft To Disable Computers of Users Who Share ‘Non-Mainstream Content’ Online.” The article is accompanied by an image of billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.


  • The article shared on social media was originally published on February 3, 2024 on the website The People's Voice – previously called Your News Wire and NewsPunch –, famous for promoting disinformation and conspiracy theories.
  • The text, which claims that the measure is an attempt by Microsoft “to combat so-called ‘misinformation’ in the run-up to the 2024 [US] election”, cites as the alleged source of the information an interview Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave to “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt on January 30, 2024.
  • The article, however, does not quote any part of the interview in which Nadella suggested, as stated in the title, that Microsoft plans to “disable computers of users who share 'non-mainstream content' online.” An analysis of the full interview, available in two parts on the NBC News website, in fact shows that at no point does Nadella make this or any other similar claim.
  • Bill Gates, who despite being featured in the picture below the headline is not even mentioned in the text, stepped down as Microsoft's CEO in 2000 and left the company's board in 2020.

Video does not show helicopter crash that killed former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared a video of a helicopter crashing into a lake, accompanied by the claim that the images show the accident that recently killed former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media was originally published by different Brazilian media outlets on January 2, 2024.
  • According to the news reports, the images show the moment when a helicopter with four people on board crashes into Lake Furnas, in southern Brazil state of Minas Gerais, moments after taking off, leaving one person dead and three others injured.
  • President of Chile for two terms (2010-2014 and 2018-2022), Sebastián Piñera died last Tuesday, February 6, aged 74, when the helicopter he was piloting crashed in the Los Ríos region in southern Chile. The aircraft crashed into Lake Ranco minutes after taking off, amid heavy rain. Three other people who were in the helicopter, including Piñera's sister, managed to swim to the shore of the lake. The former president, however, was allegedly unable to unbuckle his seatbelt and got trapped in the aircraft. According to the autopsy carried out by professionals from the Legal Medical Service (SML), Piñera died of “asphyxiation by submersion.”