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.

The London Eye is not being dismantled to be moved to Scotland

False claim: A post made on March 10 on a Facebook group called Travel Scotland Goals Group claims that the London Eye, one of the main tourist attractions in England’s capital, is being dismantled to be transferred to the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

“Originally planned as a tourist attraction for Loch Lomond, it was leased to the City of London for 25 years, now expiring,” reads the post, accompanied by three alleged images of the London Eye being dismantled.


  • A reverse image search shows that the three images illustrating the post are actually from the attraction’s construction in 1999. The top photo, and different angles of it, can be found on the website of the stock images agency Alamy. The bottom left photo illustrates an article published by BBC News on July 6, 1999. The bottom right photo was taken from a gallery of historic images of the London Eye published by BBC News on the occasion of the attraction's tenth anniversary in 2010.
  • According to the London Eye’s entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica website, the attraction was created by architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, of Marks Barfield Architects, in 1993, with construction beginning in 1998. It was officially opened by then British Prime Minister Tony Blair on December 31, 1999, marking the turn of the millennium.
  • The Encyclopaedia Britannica also informs that the London Eye was originally scheduled to be dismantled after five years, but ended up being kept in place due to its great popularity, currently being, according to its official website, the UK's most popular paid tourist attraction.

Surge in pancreatic cancer cases among young women predates COVID-19 pandemic

False claim: In a recent post on Facebook, an Australian anti-vaccine page shared a screenshot of an article published by the British newspaper Daily Mail and titled: “Alarm over 200% explosion in young women and girls getting pancreatic cancer as top experts admit they are baffled by ‘frightening’ rise of deadly disease.” Accompanied by the caption “never forget, never forgive,” the post prompted comments questioning the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.


  • Published by the Daily Mail on February 23, 2024, the article uses data from a Cancer Research UK survey to indicate that pancreatic cancer rates among women under 25 in the United Kingdom have increased by 208% since the early 1990s.
  • Both the Daily Mail article and the research published on the Cancer Research UK website make it clear that the data presented was collected between 1993 and 2018, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
  • According to the article, which points out that the same variation was not recorded among men under 25 in the UK, experts are still looking for an explanation for the specific increase among young women, with the suspicion that rising obesity rates may be behind this trend.

Video does not show police officer scolding unemployed migrants in Japan

False claim: A video in which a man wearing a blue uniform and face mask appears scolding and then arguing with a group of people in the street was shared on social media, accompanied by the claim that the footage shows a Tokyo police officer preventing “unemployed migrants” from “loitering” in the street.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was shared on November 1, 2022, by a Japanese blog called Toychan. According to the post, the images were recorded by content creator Takeshi Goto, also known as Reiwa Take-Chan, in Tokyo's Shibuya district during that year's Halloween.
  • The publication links to the full video published by the content creator on his YouTube page. The post, however, is no longer available. An article published by a Japanese media outlet on October 21, 2023, indicates that Reiwa Take-Chan's account was deleted from YouTube for violating the platform's policies.
  • By using the Wayback Machine, a platform that allows access to old versions of web pages, even if they have been deleted, it is possible to check that the video was published by Reiwa Take-Chan on October 31, 2022, with the following title: “When I warned people about littering and smoking on the street at Halloween in Shibuya, they poured beer on me.” Starting at minute 5:38 there is the same viral scene shared over the last few days on social media.

Former Brazilian soccer player Daniel Alves did not take his own life in prison in Spain

False claim: After former Brazilian soccer player Daniel Alves was sentenced last February to 4 years and 6 months in prison for abusing a woman in the bathroom of a nightclub in Barcelona in December 2022, social media users in Brazil have shared the claim that the athlete had taken his own life in the prison where he is serving his sentence in Spain.


  • In a statement published on Instagram Stories on March 10, Graciele Queiroz, Daniel Alves' family lawyer, said: “Once again they are disrespectful and spreading Fake News, generating media terrorism with the Alves family. As on previous occasions, it is important to point out that the anti-suicide protocol was NEVER activated on Brian 2. Daniel Alves was NOT depressed when he left the trial, despite media efforts to defame him, ignoring the fact that he has elderly parents.”
  • Ney Alves, the player's brother, also commented on the rumor on his Instagram account: “They've already convicted the guy. Isn't that enough? They've convicted the guy. He's in prison. Now, the craziest thing here. You want death, you want my brother dead. What do you mean? How cruel is that?.”
  • An internet search shows that the claim was originally published on X by a satirical account called @Al_buquerq. After the story went viral, the responsible for the account published the following comment on the original post: “Guys, for God's sake, what is this repercussion? I'm referring to my cousin Danielzinho from Nova Iguaçu, who was missing, but he's been found alive.”

AI and elections

by David Mazzucchi

Donald Trump videos in montage were not manipulated by AI

False claim: On Tuesday March 12, in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep.

Jerry Nadler (D-NY) played a video montage of former president Donald Trump in various gaffes – mixing up world leaders’ names, flubbing his words, etc. The purpose of the hearing was to take the testimony of Special Counsel Robert Hur, who recently released his report on Biden retaining classified documents as vice president, in which he baselessly questioned the President’s memory and competence. In response to Nadler’s montage, Donald Trump took to social media, claiming that “Artificial Intelligence was used by them against me in their videos of me. Can’t do that Joe!”


  • There is no indication that any of the video shown during Rep. Nadler’s statement was created or manipulated using AI technology. AI-generated video is in its relative infancy, as tools like Sora (from the creators of ChatGPT) create brief clips that, while impressive, don’t stand up to much inspection. A more common way of creating fake videos with AI is to take existing footage of the subject and add fake audio using AI trained on that person’s voice, as was done to Greta Thunberg last year. While the AI-generated audio impressively apes the subject in such cases, it rarely pairs convincingly with the source video, and attempts to manipulate the image (i.e. alter the subject’s lips so that they appear to say the AI-generated audio) are usually easy to spot. The clips in Nadler’s statement do not show such flaws.

  • Each of the clips used in Jerry Nadler’s montage can be traced to its original source using reverse image search or by searching the quotes in text format. The tech news site Gizmodo has gathered all of the video sources used in the montage onto a single slideshow.

Article raises questions about AI use in academic writing

Our next AI story is not a fake news item, so much as an important peek into the new role AI is already playing in unexpected domains.

A study, published in the academic science journal Surfaces and Interfaces Volume 46, made the rounds on science and AI forums after it was discovered that its introduction begins with “Certainly, here is a possible introduction for your topic:” a phrasing that looks suspiciously like an AI text-generation technology answering a query.

  • Blasting News Fact Check reached out to the author, a professor at China University of Geosciences – a public university based in Wuhan, China – who denied using any AI-assisted text generation for the article. The author explained via email that the sentence was included by a student because “it looked very fresh” (we suspect that something might be lost in translation here). The author went on to state that the “article is indeed not written using ChatGPT,” and apologized for what they called a “ridiculous mistake.”

  • Elsevier, the company that publishes Surfaces and Interfaces, states in its guide for authors that AI can be used in the writing process, however they “should only use these technologies to improve readability and language.” Their policy also specifies that use of such technology must be disclosed “at the bottom of the paper in a separate section before the list of references.” There is no such disclosure in the study.

  • The version of the article published online includes “publication milestones'' that show how the manuscript goes from being “received” by the publisher in November last year, then “revised” in January, before being “accepted” in February and ultimately published online. At the time of this writing, Elsevier has not responded to our request for comment.