The world of information is complex – and false stories and images are rife on social media. Each week, the editors at Blasting News publish the most popular hoaxes and misleading information to help you distinguish the true from the false. Here are this week’s most common claims, none of which are legitimate.
The argument: the Super Bowl champions turned down an invitation to the White House.
The facts: After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the LV Super Bowl, U.S. President Joe Biden invited the new champions to the White House. More than two thousand times the Facebook message “Super Bowl Champions Turn Down Invitations, Claiming They Were CENT” was read. OK, SO I’M NOT CRAZY.
Truth: According to Reuters, the statement in the message sounds like the title of a satirical article published on the Tater Force One website.
The site has an “About Us” section: “Everything on this site is fiction. It is not lies and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you think it’s real, you should check your head”. According to Reuters, there is no credible news that the Buccaneers declined the White House invitation.
Confirmation: The KOVID-19 vaccine is an “operating system” that programs people and hacks their biological functions.
The facts: Social media users have reported several posts that “COVID-19 vaccines are an ‘operating system’ designed to program humans and break into their biological functions. They have also accused Bill Gates of being one of the authors of this alleged conspiracy.
Truth: According to Reuters, this claim is false. Soverna, one of the companies that developed the KOVID-19 vaccine, has metaphorically compared the science of mRNA to an “operating system.” On its website, Soverna says, “We recognized the enormous potential of mRNA science and set out to create an mRNA technology platform that works like an operating system on a computer.”
Assertion: The photo shows the United States.
President Joe Biden slept in the Oval Office.
The facts: A photo was posted on social media showing U.S. President Joe Biden sleeping in the Oval Office. The caption said, “America is in decline. A decrepit old rascal working five hours a day. We have traded a draft horse for one that is in a pasture or has long been sent to a glue factory.
Nothing tells us that we have thrown in the towel like that disgusting image, the “commander in chief” can’t even stay awake”.
The truth: the photo has been edited, according to Reuters. Biden’s head has been replaced with a mirrored version of an image from 2011. A search for reverse images shows that the original image was from a photo of Joe Biden during President Barack Obama’s speech on reducing the budget deficit, during which he “turned with one eye for an extended period of time,” according to CBS at the time.
Confirmation: mask orders are a direct violation of the Nuremberg Code.
Facts: social media users claim that masking mandates are in direct violation of the Nuremberg Code. A screenshot of Article 6, Sections 1 and 3 of the Nuremberg Code is attached and the following sentence is highlighted: “Leaders must be aware that it is a war crime to mask civilians and deny them access to food, health care, transportation or education if they do not comply.
Truth: The screen shots are not taken from the Nuremberg Code, but from UNESCO’s 2005 Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.
However, the Nuremberg Code and UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights do not address the wearing of masks during a pandemic. According to Reuters, mask orders do not violate the Nuremberg Code because they do not involve experiments on humans or medical research, as the code prohibits. They are preventive measures against diseases approved by the International Health Regulations, according to Reuters.
Confirmation: face masks have been “banned” in schools by the Italian Council of State.
The facts: The French information site France Soir published an article titled: “Italy: masks banned in schools, Council of State regulation.” The stand first describes, “The domino effect to come? The president of Section III of the Italian Council of State, Frattini, has issued a decree condemning the use of masks in schools by minors.”
Truth: An excerpt translated into French from a decree approved by the Council of State was published on the France Soir website.
The plaintiffs in this case are parents of a young girl from Bolzano, northern Italy. They sought annulment of a government regulation requiring the wearing of face masks in Italian schools, even for children under the age of 12. The Council of State ruled in favor only of the girl’s family, which was not allowed to wear a mask in class due to special circumstances. However, this does not apply to all children and schools in Italy.
Regulations: The law provides for a fine of 1,500 euros for wearing the veil in public.
The facts: In France, since February 1, 2020, the Assemblée Nationale has been considering a “law on separatism” that would introduce measures to curb radical Islamism.
The press release, which was circulated nearly 19,000 times on social media, states that the law imposes a fine of 1,500 euros for wearing the veil in public.
Truth: The Ministry of Interior and the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalization (ICPDR) have denied the rumor. The official Twitter account of the Ministry of Interior published a message that read “#FakeNews. No, the Law on Republican Principles does not provide for or prohibit a €1,500 fine for wearing a headscarf in public places. Amendments were tabled during the consideration of the text by a special committee of the National Assembly, but were rejected.”
Claim: A video shows a teenager who has been given the COVID-19 vaccine and suffers serious side effects.
Facts: A video posted on social media alleges that a teenager who received the KOVID-19 vaccine suffered serious side effects.
The title of the cards is, “She suffers from cramps and severe shortness of breath.”
Truth: A reverse image search shows that the video was originally posted to YouTube on March 21, 2015. An article published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on March 20, 2015, indicates that the teenager in the video had been admitted to a hospital in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan, after being vaccinated against measles.
Allegations: Facebook makes a mistake and claims that hydroxychloroquine is effective against VIDOC-19.
The facts: Social media claims that Facebook has admitted it would be wrong to remove posts about hydroxychloroquine – a drug that has been used for decades to prevent and treat malaria and various autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Some posts show a screenshot of an article titled “Facebook admits error in censoring hydroxychloroquine. ”
Truth: The statement began circulating on social media after Facebook announced that its Oversight Board, an independent body created in 2020 to review decisions on moderating content, had asked the platform to return the hydroxychloroquine message that had been removed to the network. However, this decision was made only for a French-language video published in October 2020. As a result, Facebook did not acknowledge that it had made a mistake by removing other content related to hydroxychloroquine, nor did it confirm the drug’s efficacy against VIDOC-19. Contrary to rumors, several studies show that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective in treating patients with VIDOC-19.
Claim: COVID-19 antibodies change the color of breast milk.
Facts: A photo posted on Facebook shows two bags of breast milk. One sachet looks normal, while the other has a greenish tinge. The posts claim that the second milk comes from a mother who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and that the change is “the result of antibodies she has started producing to protect her baby from possible infections.”
Truth: In a statement to the fact-checking service of the Portuguese newspaper Observador, the coordinator of neonatology at the Central University of Lisbon (CHULC), Teresa Tomé, states that “there is no reason to associate the Covida 19 infection with a change in the color of milk.”
Claim: A video shows a group of “illegal immigrants” stealing a scooter from a courier in the Canary Islands.
Facts: A video recorded on WhatsApp shows a delivery driver having his scooter stolen by a group of burglars.
According to reports, the scenes took place in the Canary Islands in Spain and the thieves were “illegal immigrants.”
Truth: Contrary to reports circulated via WhatsApp, the video was shot on January 2, 2020 in the city of Naples, Italy. According to a report in the Italian press, the victim of the robbery is 50-year-old courier Giovanni Lanciato. On January 4, 2020, six people – two adults and four minors – were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the crime. However, the nationality of the suspects was not disclosed.