The world of information is complex – and false stories and images are often spread on social media. Each week, the editors at Blasting News publish the most popular hoaxes and misleading information to help you tell the truth from the lies. Here are some of the most common false claims this week, none of which are legitimate.

USA

Complaints: Meghan Markle received $7 million for her interview with Oprah.

Facts: Reports on Facebook claim that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and wife of Prince Harry, was paid $7 million for an interview with Oprah Winfrey that took place on the 7th. Mars 2021 aired on CBS.

Right: At the beginning of the interview with Oprah, Meghan Markle clarified that she was not paid for the interview. Speaking to Reuters, Chelsea Hettrick, a spokeswoman for Harpo Productions, who conducted the interview, said: We can confirm that Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, or any of their charities have not received any money for interviews or filming permissions.

USA

Complaints: Children as young as five can take sex change hormones.

Facts: Posts on Facebook and Instagram claim that children as young as five can take hormones and change their gender. Can I have a cigarette?

No, you’re five years old. Can I have a beer? No, you’re five years old. Can I drive? No, you’re five years old. Can I take hormones and change gender? Absolutely. You are the best! – is the subtitle of the articles, followed by a photo of a child talking to his father, sitting in an armchair and reading a newspaper.

Right: Contrary to claims, there are no medical guidelines in the United States that support a five-year-old taking hormones or undergoing sex change surgery. According to a 2016 report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the American College of Osteopathic Pediatrians and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the only recommended gender transition for prenatal children is social transition, where the child may change aspects such as name, clothing, pronoun or hairstyle.

USA

Complaints: The photo shows the first image of a sunset on Mars.

Facts: An image posted on social media claims to show the first image of a sunset on Mars, taken in March 2021.

Right: The image, which was shared on social media, is actually a work of art by illustrator Mark A. Garlick. After learning that his work had been published online with the wrong title, Garlick posted the following message on his Twitter account: This artwork is now doing the rounds on Twitter after an idiot deleted my name and called it the first sunset photo on Mars.

That’s nonsense. According to Snopes, the first photo of a sunset on Mars was taken in 1976 by NASA’s Viking 1 mission.

Brazil

Complaints: The video shows children fleeing mandatory KOVID-19 vaccination in Africa.

Facts: The Facebook posts showed a video of children running and screaming in a school in Africa, followed by captions indicating that the children were fleeing the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

Right: Contrary to reports, the video was taken in May 2019 and shows the chaos caused by a tear gas explosion at a community high school in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Portugal

Complaints: Bill Gates advocates population reduction through forced vaccinations

Facts: According to reports on Facebook, American billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates has suggested reducing the world’s population through forced vaccinations. The post includes a photo of a woman holding the June 2011 issue of The Sovereign Independent, which features a photo of Bill Gates and the following headline: Vaccine depopulation: a carbon-free solution.

Right: Sovereign Independence is known to propagate many conspiracy theories.

As for Bill Gates’ alleged statement, it is based on an IED conference he attended in February 2010 in which he said: There are 6.8 billion people in the world today. About nine billion. If we do a very good job on new vaccines, preventive health care and reproductive health services, we might be able to reduce that percentage by 10 or 15%. But we see an increase of 1.3%. So it is understandable that Bill Gates was talking about reducing population growth by 10-15%, not world population.

Latin America

Complaints: Coronavirus variants have been created to mask the mortality of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Facts: Facebook posts claim that variants of the new coronavirus are in fact a fabricated excuse to cover up deaths caused by the KOVID-19 vaccine.

Right: According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all COVID-19 emergency vaccines currently available worldwide are safe and effective. The CDC also states that there are no records of deaths due to any of the vaccines used. As for the variants, the CDC says that viruses are constantly evolving through mutations and that it is normal for new variants to emerge over time.

New Zealand

Complaints: A video shows a face mask from China with a detection ship.

Facts: A video posted on Facebook claims to show a mask with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip. The reports state that masks made in China often contain RFID chips.

Right: According to AFP, the video was originally published in September 2020 by a Greek satirical group.

Of course it’s a troll! The chip is the normal NFC we put on the mask for the video….. Apparently, the need for conspiracy theories outweighs logic, the group said in an initial post.

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