Two viral images purporting to show TIME magazine's cover featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin as German dictator Adolf Hitler, are morphed and fake. The images were created as artworks by a graphic designer.
The iconic TIME cover is a favourite amongst Photoshop enthusiasts and graphic designers. BOOM has debunked several such fake TIME covers.
The images are being shared in the context of Russia's massive invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24, 2022.
The two morphed images are both dated February 28/March 7, 2022. One of the fake covers features a close-up of Putin with facial hair that resembles Hitler's iconic 'toothbrush' moustache. The other fake cover shows Hitler's piercing stare and a Swastika symbol merged with a photo of Putin. Both covers sport the headline, 'THE RETURN OF HISTORY, How Putin Shattered Europe's Dream.'
Netizens across the globe have been sharing the fake images. One of the tweets captioned in Turkish says, "Just talking is not enough" (Original text 'Sadece konuşmak yetmez')
BOOM found several Twitter users sharing the fake images. On of the tweets featuring the second fake cover has been captioned in Spanish as, "history is cyclical"
BOOM found that the viral images are altered versions of TIME magazine's upcoming cover that is future dated March 14/March 21, 2022.
The actual TIME cover was tweeted on February 25, 2022 from TIME's verified handle. The theme of the cover is the same as the altered images - Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Other recently published covers till February 28, 2022 can be seen in TIME's vault. The viral images are nowhere to be found in TIME's archives.
BOOM ran a reverse image search and found that one such viral cover was tweeted by Patrick Mulder - a graphic designer. We found tweets from Mulder which described the images as a 'rework' of this month's TIME magazine cover. The two images are out of a sequence of three artworks made by Mulder.
The two morphed covers have been watermarked with Mulder's name on the bottom right corner of the image.
The graphic designer also tweeted a video showing how the fake cover was made.
Below is a comparison of TIME's actual upcoming issue with Patrick Mulder's 'reworked' images.