An image of the front page of The New York Times is being widely shared on social media. It consists of the masthead of the NYT, below which, a graphic of a naked king occupies almost half of the page. The edition is dated March 15, 2024. Users claim that the international newspaper carried this graphic to depict PM Modi’s situation after the electoral bonds data had been released.

X (formerly Twitter) user Izhar Alam (@Izharalam00786) shared the above-mentioned image on March 16 with a caption in Hindi that can be translated as, “On Electoral Bond, International Media The New York Times is saying that the king is now naked. ‘Modi’s Family'”. The tweet has received over 1.2 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 1,400 times.

Several other users shared the same image on X and Facebook with the same claim.

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Fact Check

To check the authenticity of the image, we searched for the front page of the New York Times edition dated March 15, 2024. We found that the front page of the NYT on that day did not have the viral image. There are several differences between the two pages as can be seen in the comparison below. Readers can also see that in the viral image, the words “SATIRE EDITION” are written above the masthead. Next to the graphic, the text is written in an odd font that differs from the font used by the NYT. Also, one can see on the page that it says ‘Report By – @EducatedBilla’, no such byline can be seen on the original paper.

We searched for the handle @EducatedBilla on X and found a user with this username. This user had shared the viral image on March 15. In the comment section @EducatedBilla says that he created the image. Replying to another comment, the user clarified that he had made this image and that it was only a piece of satire.

Further, on running a reverse image search we found the graphic on the website where artists can share their digital artwork. The image was shared with the title: “The King is Naked” in February 2021. The graphic has been credited to one ‘Astaire’ and it is mentioned to be based on the fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

Hence, it is clear that the viral image is not an original publication of the New York Times.

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