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).
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.
Narendra Modi: Last, Best Hope of Earth ❤️ pic.twitter.com/mYMXlEGZo1
— Flt Lt Anoop Verma (Retd.) 🇮🇳 (@FltLtAnoopVerma) September 26, 2021
Alt News had also received numerous requests to verify the image on our official mobile app in 2020.
This image had also made its way to WhatsApp.
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.
This is from 9th November Wednesday 2016 which is edited and shared by BJP IT cell. I have the Original “The New York Times” news paper. You can crosscheck the Vol No. CLXVI and amount $2.50. @zoo_bear @sadafjafar pic.twitter.com/SgHdwTie5p
— Arafath Adil (@MIAArafath4) September 27, 2021
The New York Times also took to Twitter to clarify that the report is fabricated.
This is a completely fabricated image, one of many in circulation featuring Prime Minister Modi. All of our factual reporting on Narendra Modi can be found at:https://t.co/ShYn4qW4nT pic.twitter.com/gsY7AlNFna
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) September 28, 2021
A satirical post was thus believed to be true and shared with praises for the Indian Prime Minister.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.