After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the under-construction Central Vista project in New Delhi, photos of his site visit were shared across news and social media. Many social media users shared a photograph showing how one of the low-angle photos was shot, with the cameraperson lying down at the site.
However, we found that the viral photo, which showed a photographer lying on the ground to get a shot of the Prime Minister, was edited. The photo being shared used an actual photo of Modi's visit to the under-construction project and combined it with a stock photograph of a photographer.
The photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a photographer lying down in front of him for a shot was shared with many different claims, including some that praised the photographer.
The photo was shared by many notable people on Twitter, which included the Congress' Social Media Department Chairperson Rohan Gupta, author Shivam Shankar Singh, Madhya Pradesh Congress' Working President Jitu Patwari and lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, among others.
What We Found
We saw that the photograph bore a watermark which had the text '@Indian_armada' on it.
We looked up the handle on social media, and found a Twitter account that had uploaded the photograph on 26 September 2021.
Captioned 'poor photographer', the account's bio noted that it was a 'parody' account that 'photoshopped' content.
Next, we used reverse image search to find more details. The results led us to reports by many news organisations, including The Quint, that carried a photograph of the Prime Minister's visit to the Central Vista construction site, without the photographer in it.
A set of photos from the site visit were also tweeted by Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Mansukh Mandaviya.
कर्मयोगी का जीवंत रूप है हमारे प्रधानमंत्री @NarendraModi जी।
अमेरिका से अपने दौरें से आते ही प्रधानमंत्री जी संसद भवन के निर्माण कार्य को देखने पहुँचें। उनकी यह अथक साधना हम सभी के लिए प्रेरणादायी है। pic.twitter.com/XSsYShbpaN
— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) September 26, 2021
On comparing the original photo to the one being shared, one can easily note the discrepancies.
The frame of the original photo and the edited photo are nearly identical. If a photographer was present in the position seen in the photo, they would not have been able to include the rock with the blue mark in the way that is seen in the original photo.
Using keywords such as 'photographer lying on ground' on Google, we came across the same photo uploaded to stock photo sharing website Pixabay in 2015.
In this photo, the photographer was lying on the ground in a manner mirroring the viral photo.
The photo of Modi that is being shared across social media, uses a flipped version of this photo, which has been edited onto a photograph of the PM's visit to the Central Vista redevelopment site.
(Note: Swipe right to view the combined image.)
Evidently, a photograph of Modi's recent visit to the under-construction Central Vista project site was edited to include a photographer lying on the ground in front of him and was shared by social media users.
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