Morphed Screenshot of OpIndia Article on Greta Thunberg Goes Viral
The morphed screenshot claims that OpIndia said that Greta Thunberg was born into a Muslim family.
The morphed screenshot of an article, purportedly published by right-wing website OpIndia, has gone viral on the internet with a claim that the website said that Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg was born into a Muslim family and was later adopted. Thunberg has been in news recently after she spoke out in support of the ongoing farmers’ protest against the three new farm laws introduced by the Centre.
We found that the screenshot of the article was an edited one as it didn’t match the layout of OpIndia’s website. We also found that one of the images in the screenshot showing Thunberg in a hijab was also morphed and was first published on a satire website.
The screenshot which was shared by several social media users had the OpIndia banner on top with the tabs, date and social media handles. The text in the story read, “The real face of Great Thunberg. Her real name is Ghazala Bhat she is daughter of Kashmiri Bussinessmen Hilal Bhat who married to Swedish mother Anna Bjorklund converted to Islam became Aafia. Her parents got killed into car accident. She became orphan later adopted by Svante Thunberg [sic].”
It also contained two images – one of Thunberg in a green hijab and one of her during her speech at the 2019 UN climate action summit in New York.
The same screenshot was shared by multiple people on Facebook. While some shared it as a meme, others believed that it was actually an article published by OpIndia.
Singer Caralisa Monterio shared it on her Twitter handle and it was liked by over nine thousand people.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
DID GRETA THUNBERG WEAR A HIJAB?
We conducted a reverse image search of the screenshot and it led us to the original photo of a girl in a green hijab available to download from Pixabay, a platform where creatives share copyright-free images, videos and music.
A side-by-side comparison of the two images made it clear that Thunberg’s photo was morphed.
We also saw the words “Secret News” written on the viral screenshot and we looked for the website. We found that it was a French website with the same name that described itself as “a free and independent collaborative parody medium bringing together several contributors.”
The website’s about section adds, “Most of the information on this site is probably false, published for satirical and humorous purposes and cannot be taken as authentic.”
We conducted a keyword search for “Greta” and found an article that was titled, “Greta Thunberg wears the veil to get media attention”. The article that was published on 17 October 2019 contains made-up statements from Thunberg and exaggerated claims. We found that this article was the first time when Greta’s face was morphed on to the original photo of a hijab-wearing girl.
The satirical article also mentions that she was seen wearing a green hijab.
DID OPINDIA PUBLISH THIS STORY?
We also compared the viral screenshot with an original story published on OpIndia’s website and found there were two errors in the viral screenshot.
The viral image had an orange colour highlight under the “Home” tab, which is not present when one opens an original story on OpIndia’s website.
Secondly, the title image of the story does not cover the entire width of the website. In the original website, we see the “suggested stories/latest news” section on the right side of the title image.
Moreover, the text in the viral image had several grammatical errors in it.
Therefore, a fake image was created to falsely claim that OpIndia had claimed that climate change activist Greta Thunberg was born into a Muslim family and was later adopted after the death of her birth parents.
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