The trend of using fake images to showcase development continues. Just yesterday, we wrote about how Union Minister Piyush Goyal used a 8 year old image of unknown origins to showcase LED street lighting in India. Previously, on Alt News, we have written about Coal Ministry plagiarising a picture from Amnesty International Report and 2016-17 Annual report of Ministry of Home Affairs using a Morocco-Spain border picture to claim Indian border lighting. The latest addition to this series is Rajesh Munat who is the Chhattisgarh Minister of State for Public Works Department, Housing, Environment, and Transport. He posted a picture on his Facebook Timeline with the text, “जिला रायगढ़ लमदरहा मार्ग केलो नदी पर पुल का निर्माण (Translation: Inauguration of the bridge over River Kelo on Lamdarha Marg in District Raigadh)“.
An Alt News reader who wishes to remain anonymous alerted us about the dubious origins of the image posted by the Minister. He claimed that when he used Google Reverse Image Search on the image , a tool that we widely use at Alt News, the bridge showed up as one in Vietnam. We followed his lead and ran the image through Google Reverse Image Search and the image is indeed of a bridge in Vietnam.
Saigon Online had reported the inauguration of Co Chien Bridge in Mekong on May 16, 2015, “Co Chien Bridge linking Ben Tre with Tra Vinh provinces was opened for traffic this morning at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, National Assembly Deputy Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang and leaders of the two provinces.”
Vietnam’s leading newspaper Thanh Nien also posted the same picture the following day on their website while reporting the inauguration of Co Chien Bridge.
Funnily enough, a commentator on Mr Munat’s post praised him for putting up a real picture and not a fake one and he acknowledged the commentator by thanking him.
How is that when crores are spent after infrastructure of all kind, so very often, representatives of the Government and various politicians have to resort to using misleading images to represent their claims?
We are again thankful to the person who tipped us about this issue. If anyone wishes to reach out to Alt News, they can do so via our Contact Email Address. We have also created a video tutorial for our readers who wish to learn how to fact-check fake/dubious/misleading images via Google Reverse Image Search. Please do spend a few minutes to go through the following video.