Thai PM's Photograph Cropped, Shared With Misleading Claim

The posts claim that the Thai PM failed to understand the photographer's instructions to raise the hand.

Social media posts shared tens of thousands of times show an image of world leaders waving as they pose for a photo, while Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha fails to raise his hand. The posts mock Prayut and accuse him of failing to understand the photographer's instructions. The claim is misleading; the picture has been cropped to cut out other leaders who also did not wave.

"He was looking for attention and was afraid that the international community would not know how sooty he is," reads a tweet posted on November 12 and retweeted more than 20,000 times.

'Sooty' appears to be a misspelling of 'snooty'.

The tweet adds: "A journalist shouted in English: 'Raise your right hand at the same time.' Everybody was doing it except him...LOL." The tweet features a buffalo emoji, which in Thailand refers to a stupid person.

Screenshot of the Twitter post captured on November 16, 2021

The photo shows Prayut (top-centre) standing between former US president Donald Trump (top-left) and Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong (top-right). Indonesia's president Joko Widodo (bottom-left), Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe (bottom-centre) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (bottom-right) pose in the foreground.

All the leaders in the photo except Prayut are seen raising their hands.

The photo was shared in similar posts here and here on Facebook, here and here on Twitter and here on a forum.

However, the claim is misleading.

A reverse image search on Google and keyword searches found the original photo -- from which the picture circulating online has been cropped -- published on November 11, 2017 by South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The Korean-language photo caption reads: "President Moon Jae-in and other heads of state attending the APEC Summit pose for a commemorative photo at the APEC Summit held at the InterContinental Hotel in Da Nang, Vietnam on the morning of the 11th (local time).

In the original, uncropped photo, Prayut is not the only leader who fails to raise his hand.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Russian President Vladimir Putin are pictured with both hands by their sides.

A wider crop of the photo showing Prayut along with Trudeau, Putin and Ardern (circled by AFP) not raising their hands

A keyword search found footage of the leaders gathering for the photo shoot.

The video titled "APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) Family Photo 11/11/2017" was posted on YouTube by Philippine state-run broadcaster Radio Television Malacañang.

At the 2:39 minute mark of the video, world leaders begin to wave their right hands.

As the camera pans out, Prayut can also be seen waving his hand.

The photo which appears in the misleading post corresponds with the 2:50 mark of the video, by which time some leaders had lowered their hands.

Prayut is regularly a target of misinformation. AFP has previously debunked false claims shared about him here, here and here.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by BOOM staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Updated On: 2021-11-19T08:32:18+05:30
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