“For the first time in 70 years, citizens are calling the Prime Minister a thief.” This caption was posted by the Facebook page ABMB along with an image of several women holding placards that read – “Modi chor” (Modi thief). At the time of writing this article, the post was shared over 21,000 times. ABMB has a follower count of 37,000.

70 सालो में पहली बार ऐसा हुआ है,

जनता प्रधानमंत्री को चोर कह रही हैं,

Posted by ABMB on Sunday, 23 September 2018

The same image was also shared across Facebook by many other pages and several individual users. The Headline which has over 19 lakh followers, आजमगढ़ एक्सप्रेस (Azamgarh Express) that has over 17 lakh followers and Love you India which has more than 8 lakh followers circulated the imagery with the identical narrative thus, driving thousands of shares to the photograph. This picture was also shared on Twitter.

What is the truth?

Alt News reverse searched the image on Google.

Several reports with the similar image came up on the search results. Among them was an article by Aaj Tak.

Photoshopped image

The report published by Aaj Tak on September 23 revealed the original image where the women can be seen holding placards that say – “प्रधानमंत्री जन आरोग्य योजना” (Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana).

The image pertained to the inauguration of ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana – Ayushman Bharat’ by PM Modi in Ranchi, Jharkhand on September 23. According to Aaj Tak’s report, “The economic groups of people who will be included in this initiative are the poor, deprived rural families and city labourers. According to the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), there are at least 8.03 crore such families in villages and 2.33 crore such families in cities. About 50 crore people will be benefitted from this program.”

We have observed several times in the past that morphed images are circulated with altered narratives. It is a common practice to manipulate pictures that include posters or boards. For instance, a photoshopped image of a madrasa teacher preaching to his students that Islam was superior to Hinduism was viral in June this year. Another morphed image was circulated to portray Muslims demanding the release of the Mandsaur rape accused. It is pertinent that viral images on social media are verified before further sharing them online.

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About the Author

Priyanka Jha specialises in monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News. She also manages the Alt News Hindi portal.