A viral image claiming to show the latest National Geographic cover with a photo of a farmer from the ongoing farmers' protest, is fake and photoshopped.
BOOM found that the latest issue actually has a photo of the Robert E. Lee monument, complete with graffiti and a projection of George Floyd on the magazine cover.
The doctored image is being shared in the backdrop of the ongoing protest at different borders of Delhi which has seen farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh camping there since November 26, 2020. The farmers have been demanding the repeal of three Farm Bills passed by the central government last year.
The image shows a Sikh farmer tying his green turban with National Geographic written on the top of the image with the iconic yellow frame of the magazine. It also has a tagline at the bottom reading, "The largest protest in history is happening now and it is not being televised."
The fake cover was tweeted by Congress leader Dr Ajoy Kumar with the caption, "The world is watching and seeing how we are letting down our अन्नदाता ! Jai ho bjp"
Viral on Twitter
BOOM found that the viral National Geographic cover covering the ongoing farmers' protests is fake and the January magazine issue has a different cover.
On cropping the photo used in the viral fake cover and performing a reverse image search using Google Images, we found that the viral photo has been picked from PTI photos and was clicked by photojournalist Ravi Choudhary. A National Geographic cover would usually not use photos from other outlets for its cover page.
The caption of the photo reads, "A farmer at Singhu border during their 'Delhi Chalo' protest against the new farm laws, on Saturday, 12 December."
Additionally, we found several discrepancies with the cover which did not match with National Geographic's recent cover format and shows that it was fake.
The logo of National Geographic is different from the original logo in the viral photo as on checking the magazine we can spot that the letter 'N' comes directly above the letter 'E' which is not aligned in the viral image.
On looking up the headlines mention on the cover, we did not find any such pieces published by National Geographic. Even the font in the image is different from the one used by the magazine and the iconic yellow border is a mismatch from the one it uses now. Recent issues of Natioanl Geographic magazine also do not have 'Vol 1984 No 2' or the globe above the logo on them.
We also spotted a handle name '@anoopreet' on the cover which gives it away that it is not a real cover and has been generated as an original cover would not have a handle name on it.
On viewing with the handle name @anoopreet on Instagram, we found that it is an artwork created by the Instagram handle which has also stated that it is an imagined artwork.
We also looked at the National Geographic magazine archives and found that the January 2021 cover photo is on the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred in the United States last year after the police shooting of George Floyd.
The photo is of the Robert E. Lee monument, complete with graffiti and a projection of George Floyd on the cover of the January 2021 issue of National Geographic magazine. The special issue features 71 photos that sum up what the magazine calls an unforgettable year.
One can notice that the yellow border is a complete rectangle and not like in the viral photo which frame size is irregular.
Click here to view the archives.
Additionaly, there are several fake National Geographic cover generators that are available which can be used to generate a fake cover as in this case.
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation around the farmers' protests with protesters being targeted with fake news and old photos and videos being shared as recent.
Follow BOOM's thread on misinformation around the farmers' protests.
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