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.

Video does not show a large explosion on Baltimore bridge before collapse

False claim: Hours after the world's main media outlets began reporting on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, social media users started to share a video of an explosion on a bridge, accompanied by the claim that the images show an “alternate angle” of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.


  • A reverse image search shows that the viral video was originally shared on October 8, 2022, by media outlets such as CNN and The Guardian. According to the reports published at the time, the images show an explosion recorded that day by a CCTV camera on the Kerch Bridge, the only link between Russia and the Crimean peninsula, invaded by Russia in 2014. On July 2023, Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Footage from a live camera shared on Tuesday by local authorities and major US media outlets shows a container ship crashing violently at 1:28 a.m. local time into a support column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing the entire structure to collapse. The footage shows no sign of an explosion on the bridge.
  • According to Maryland Governor Wes Moore, the crew of the Singapore-flagged container ship called Dali issued a mayday call moments before the accident, informing that the vessel had lost power, enabling authorities to limit vehicle traffic on the bridge. It is not yet clear what caused the power outage. Authorities are still checking the black box of the cargo ship to better understand what happened.

Baltimore bridge collapse sparks unfounded conspiracy theories

False claim: In addition to falsely linking the video of the explosion on the Kerch Bridge to the tragedy in Baltimore, social media users have also spread a number of conspiracy theories over the last days about the causes of the accident, such as a Ukrainian national was the captain of the container ship or that the vessel was targeted in a cyberattack.


  • According to information published on the website of Synergy Marine Group, a Singapore-based company responsible for managing the Dali, the vessel was leaving Baltimore for Colombo, Sri Lanka, with a crew of 22 Indian nationals on board.
  • At the time of the crash, the container ship was being piloted by an employee of the Port of Baltimore, in accordance with local legislation for vessels engaged in foreign trade. The American Pilots’ Association informed that the pilot has more than a decade of experience.
  • In a statement on Tuesday, the FBI said: “There is no specific and credible information to suggest any ties to terrorism at this time.” The same position was adopted by Governor Wes Moore, who said at a press conference the same day that officials had not seen “any credible evidence of a terrorist attack,” and by President Joe Biden, who made the following statement that afternoon: “Everything so far indicates that this was a terrible accident. At this time, we have no other indication - no other reason to believe there was any intentional act here.”

Italian island of Lampedusa did not record the arrival of 7,000 migrants in 36 hours in March

False claim: Amid a heated debate on migration both in Europe, ahead of the European Parliament elections in June, and in the US, with Biden’s border policies facing a torrent of criticism from conservatives, social media users on both sides of the Atlantic have shared the claim that more than 7,000 migrants landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa in the space of 36 hours over the last days.

The posts are accompanied by a video allegedly showing the crowds of migrants who have recently arrived on the island located just over 80 miles from the African coast.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video shared on social media has been circulating on the web since at least September 2023.
  • Speaking to Italian radio station RTL 102.5 on September 14, 2023, the mayor of Lampedusa, Filippo Mannino, reported that around 7,000 migrants had in fact arrived on the island in the previous 48 hours.
  • Statistics published on March 27, 2024, by Italy’s interior ministry, however, shows that the total number of migrants who have landed in the whole country in March is less than 7,000. Since March 20, for example, around 2,700 migrants have arrived in Italy. In the same period last year, there were more than 6,700.

WEF did not call for limiting coffee consumption to help fight climate change

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared a claim that the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently called for limiting coffee consumption to help fight climate change.

“No more than 2 or 3 cups each per year,” reads the caption on some of the posts, accompanied by a 40-second video of Swiss banker Hubert Keller speaking at a WEF event about average CO₂ emissions per ton of coffee.


  • An internet search shows that the claim that the WEF had proposed limiting coffee consumption to “2 or 3 cups a year” was originally published on January 22, 2024, in an article on the website The People's Voice – previously called Your News Wire and NewsPunch –, famous for promoting misinformation and conspiracy theories.
  • A search for Hubert Keller's name on the WEF website shows that he took part as a guest speaker – and not as part of the organization or as a spokesperson for the WEF – in a panel organized by the forum on January 17, 2024, and titled "Putting a Price on Nature". The video shared both on social media posts and in The People's Voice article is an excerpt from Keller's speech.
  • An analysis of the full 49-minute panel, available on the WEF website, shows that at no point does Keller – or any other panelist – mention the idea of banning or limiting coffee consumption. In his speech, the Swiss banker criticizes coffee monoculture and suggests a transition to regenerative and more efficient agricultural methods.

AI and elections

by David Mazzucchi

Video showing Ukrainian official taking responsibility for Moscow terrorist attack is a deepfake

False claim: Italian candidate for European Parliament Nicolai Lilin shared a video (originally published on the apparently unofficial Telegram channel of “60 Minutes”, the flagship talk show on Russian state TV Rossiya 1) that purports to show an interview with a Ukrainian official, Alexei Danilov.

In it, Danilov declares that Ukraine is responsible for the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall near Moscow on March 22 that killed over 140 people. “It's funny what happened tonight in Moscow,” he appears to state in the video. “I would like to believe that we will organize this fun for them more often.”


  • The video appears to be a segment from United News, the outlet launched by the Ukrainian government after Russia’s invasion in 2022. An analysis from David Puente, an OSINT reporter with the Italian news outlet Open, reveals discrepancies between the onscreen graphics in this video and authentic United News content, such as placement and size of the outfit’s logo.
  • Danilov’s voice is realistically aped using AI and the video of him speaking does not show immediate signs of having been altered to fit the new script. However, the footage of Danilov can be traced back to an interview he gave to another outlet on March 19, which is identical in every way to the fake video, except for the movement of his lips. Footage of the anchors supposedly interviewing Danilov were pulled from a different interview on March 16.
  • Nicolai Lilin is a candidate with the Peace Land Dignity party, founded by rightwing journalist and TV personality Michele Santoro in September of last year. Lilin, who is a naturalized Italian citizen of Russian extraction, has spread Fake News about Ukraine since at least 2014, when he helped spread the false rumor that Ukraine had shot down the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

An audio recording of a supposed 911 call after the Baltimore bridge collapse is not authentic

False claim: A video published on Wednesday on TikTok with over 10 million views purports to show an audio recording of a 911 call from someone who was on the Francis Scott Key Bridge when it collapsed in the early hours of March 24.

“I'm under the Baltimore Key Bridge. The bridge collapsed while I was driving,” the caller explains to the dispatcher. During their conversation, the driver apparently makes it out of their sinking car, keeping afloat by “holding on to a piece of the bridge.”


  • If the facts of the call seem dubious to begin with, the audio is not convincing either. The voices of both the caller and dispatcher are inconsistent in tone and inflection, and dips in background noise give the sense of clips cutting in and out.
  • For all the chaos that the driver appears to go through during the call – breaking their car window to free themselves, swimming in open water – their surroundings are oddly silent apart from their voice. While the caller does sound in distress, at no point does their tone seem to match the life-threatening shock that they have supposedly experienced. This lack of emotional range is (as of now still) a sign of AI-generated voice audio.