A photo of Times Square showing pictures of Hindu deity Ram on billboards across it is viral with a false caption claiming that the images have come up ahead of the foundation stone laying ceremony of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, scheduled for August 5.
BOOM found that the viral image showing pictures of the Hindu deity across billboards has been created on a website with the help of a billboard generator.
It's noteworthy that images of Ram and 3D portraits of the model of the Ram Temple will be beamed across billboards in New York's iconic Times Square on August 5, coinciding with the temple's groundbreaking ceremony in Ayodhya. Read more about it here.
The viral post shows a picture of the Times Square with six different images of the Hindu god on billboards across it.
The caption with the picture reads 'Good Morning ji !!! Times Square NYC, this morning ! Jai Shree Ram'.
The viral post can be viewed below and its archived version can be checked here.
BOOM received the same picture on its WhatsApp tipline asking about the veracity of the claim.
We also found the picture viral on WhatsApp with a caption 'NY times Square lit up in lieu of construction of Sri Ram mandir in Ayodhya. Jai Shri Ram (Sic)'.
The picture has also been shared on Twitter with a caption claiming 'Times Square NYC, an hour ago'.
Times Square NYC, an hour ago pic.twitter.com/74bnKKYv5F— Avinash Gorakshakar (@AvinashGoraksha) August 1, 2020
BOOM did a reverse image search on the picture but found no news websites showing the viral image or reports mentioning about photos of the deity having been displayed at Times Square.
News reports do mention that the photographs of the Hindu deity and 3D portraits of Ram temple's model will be beamed across billboards in Times Square, but this will happen on August 5, 2020.
BOOM then did a keyword search with 'times square billboard generator' and found the exact same template on makesweet.com, a website that uses different templates and effects to edit photos.
We compared the billboard template with the viral picture and found that the latter has been edited by the help of the billboard generator effect on the website, and has been mirrored.
A closer look at the viral image also reveals that all the captions on billboards are mirror images since the picture is has been edited and mirrored. Also, one of the pictures has the Alamy Stock Photo logo over it.
As the billboard template allows only one photo to be uploaded, the other photos have been morphed into the template. A closer look at the viral pictures reveals the shoddy work involved in morphing the pictures.
We then used our logo with the same billboard generator. The images can be seen below.
However, we were unable to independently verify the origin of the viral image.
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