Photo of a matrimonial ad which states that a vaccinated bride is seeking only a “fully vaccinated groom who has taken both the doses of Covishield”, has gone viral on social media.
However, The Quint’s WebQoof team found out that the photo is edited and has been generated using an online tool.
The aforementioned matrimonial ad was also shared by Congress’ Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor. “Vaccinated bride seeks vaccinated groom! No doubt the preferred marriage gift will be a booster shot!? Is this going to be our New Normal? (sic)” Tharoor tweeted.
At the time of writing this article, the photo has nearly 8,000 likes and 846 retweets and NDTV also published a news report on it.
Another photo shared by a Facebook user gives a broader look into the picture, and it also has the logo of the paper as “GOA TIM”.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
To verify the photo, we looked into newspaper clipping generator tool called ‘Fodey.com’. The free-for-use tool generates newspaper clippings where one can enter the name of the newspaper, date, headline and the story and you get a plausible image of a newspaper article.
But there’s a catch. It only changes the first two columns in the template, while the text in the third column that is partially visible never changes.
In the viral image, you can see the letters ‘re’, ‘fo’, ‘im’ in the first three lines of the third column. The same first letters can also be seen in the newspaper clipping that The Quint generated on 8 June.
Therefore, in the viral image that was generated by Fodey, the headline was put as Goa Tim, the dateline as Friday, 4th JUNE 2021, headline as Matrimonial and then the story was pasted as Roman Catholic girl (full paragraph).
Further, the ad was originally created by Savio Figueiredo who had uploaded it on his Facebook page on 4 June.
Figueiredo reached out to The Quint and said, “I had created this fake ad online to encourage my friends on FB to get vaccinated and save their lives and those of others. Someone clipped only the matrimonial ad and put it on many group.(sic)”
Figueiredo had also spoken to The Indian Express after this ad went viral.
Next, we looked for the Goa Times, which is a subsidiary of the Times of India, e-paper of 4 June and found that the font of the logo doesn’t match. Also, the dateline in Goa Times is above the logo and not on the left-hand side as in the viral image.
Clearly, an image generated out of a tool has been shared as a real matrimonial page.
(Update: The story has been updated to incorporate that the advertisement was originally created by Savio Figueiredo to encourage people to get vaccinated.)
(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer)
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