An image claimed to be the front page of The New York Times has been shared on social media websites. The headline of the alleged article on the Indian Prime Minister reads, “Last, Best Hope of Earth”. The subheading below reads, “World’s most loved and most powerful leader is here to bless us.” The clipping is dated September 26, 2021.

The alleged screenshot is widespread on Facebook.

The same screenshot was also viral last year. Alt News had received several requests to fact-check the image on our official mobile application and WhatsApp helpline (+91 76000 11160).

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The same image was shared in September 2020 against the backdrop of PM Narendra Modi’s three-day-long official visit to the United States.

It was widespread on Facebook and Twitter back then as well.

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Alt News had also received numerous requests to verify the image on our official mobile app in 2020.

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This image had also made its way to WhatsApp.

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Satire believed to be true

Upon taking a closer look at the clipping, we noticed that the word ‘September’ is misspelt as ‘Setpember’. Furthermore, the caption below PM Modi’s image reads, ”His highness, Modiji is signing on a blank A4 paper to bless our country…har har Modi.” The sentence has a tone of mockery.

We checked The New York Times website to locate the front page of the September 26 issue. We discovered that none of the stories was about PM Modi.

Below is a comparison between the genuine September 26, 2021 issue and the morphed issue viral on social media. The differences are evident for instance, in the volume number and price. The viral image has the volume number 57,411 whereas the genuine one has the volume number 59,193. Similarly, the price mentioned in the viral image is $2.50, and $6.00 in the original.

A Twitter user shared a clipping of The New York Times front page dated November 9, 2016, which has the same volume number and price as the viral image.

The New York Times also took to Twitter to clarify that the report is fabricated.

A satirical post was thus believed to be true and shared with praises for the Indian Prime Minister.

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About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.