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Fake Billboards Pics Welcoming Rahul Gandhi To UAE Viral

Fake Billboards Pics Welcoming Rahul Gandhi To UAE Viral

Ahead of Gandhi’s two-day visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi social media has seen a surge of fake images.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s two-day trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi has sent the fake news brigade into overdrive displaying their photo editing skills or lack of thereof.

Gandhi is scheduled to visit the UAE on January 11-12 as part of his outreach programme to the Indian diaspora there. Read more about it here.

BOOM was able to bust at least three fake photos that have been created using a free online photo editing website.

The below image of Rahul Gandhi on an illuminated billboard against the backdrop of buildings has been widely shared on Twitter as well as Facebook.

Photo shared widely on Facebook and Twitter

Click here to view an archived version of the tweet.

A similar image was also tweeted from the official Twitter handle of Rukshmani Kumari, president of the All India Professionals Congress, the party’s professional wing in Rajasthan. Click here to view an archived version of the tweet.

Shared from Kumari’s official Twitter handle

And was also tweeted from the Indian Overseas Congress’official twitter handle.

Official handle of IOC

Similar pictures were also shared from several pages on Facebook too.

श्री राहुल गांधी जी का दुबई मे स्वागत के बेनर से पूरी दुबई सजी ..जय हो राहुल गांधी

Posted by K.P. Banna Badodiya on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

देश के साथ साथ विदेशों में भी सब के गुरु है हमारे काँग्रेस के शीर्ष नेतृत्वकर्ता आ.राहुल गाँधी का होडिंग्स दुबई स्वागत में लगा.#RGatUAERahul Gandhi

Posted by It-cell Congress Dipka on Thursday, January 3, 2019

FACT CHECK

BOOM did a reverse image search and found various images with the exact same background.

A deeper investigation led us to a website photofunia which has several templates for editing photos, billboards  being one of them.

We tried using the website to create some images and came up with the below images to show how it was done.

BOOM’s version

BOOM’s version

Another image that has been widely shared on the social media is that of a bus with a poster of Gandhi.

Shared from several Twitter handles

Posted by Antar singh darbar on Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Same image shared on Facebook

However, when BOOM did a reverse image search, we found the image of the same bus, sans the hoarding.

Same image found with the help of reverse image search

Not All Are Fake

Among all the images BOOM went through, there was a common photograph that we came across on several Twitter and Facebook pages, that of a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) with Gandhi’s poster.

While a reverse image search on this photo yielded nothing, we did come across a video on Facebook which had SUVs with Gandhi’s posters.

#RGinUAE Welcome Rahul Gandhi to Dubai

Posted by Nassarmaha Madappan on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

BOOM was also the first website to bust a viral video that claimed Gandhi’s image was displayed on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, earlier in the week. Other websites ran the story following BOOM’s fact-check. Read the story here.

ALSO READ : Was Rahul Gandhi’s Picture Displayed On Dubai’s Burj Khalifa?: A FactCheck

Claim Review : Billboards Pics Welcoming Rahul Gandhi To UAE

Fact Check : Fake

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Sumit is a fact checker and the News Editor of Boom's Hindi wing. In the six years of his journalistic career, he has worked with the New Indian Express, Times of India and Deccan Chronicle. The dynamic nature of digital media finally made him take the leap from print to online, and don the hat of a digital detective.

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