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Did New York Times Publish a Report Mocking PM Modi on Its Front Page? No!

The viral image is fake and was created by one X (formerly Twitter) user using Microsoft Paintbrush.

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WebQoof
4 min read
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An image of an article, purportedly published by The New York Times (NYT), is being shared on social media.

What does it say?: The image is being shared to claim that the news organisation published a story about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taking a dig at the leader after data about electoral bonds was made public.

The viral image is fake and was created by one X (formerly  Twitter) user using Microsoft Paintbrush.

An archive of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

(Archives of more posts sharing this image can be seen here, here, and here.)

Did NYT publish this?: No. The viral image is of poor quality and is riddled with errors.

  • The publication's front page on 15 March 2024 carried reports about snake catchers, Israel, Russia's trade route through Iran, among others.

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How did we find out the truth?: There are several visual cues that give away the fact that this is not a real screenshot of The New York Times' front page for 15 March 2024.

Visual cues: For starters, there is small text above the newspaper's masthead which reads 'Satire Edition'.

  • The date line is also not in the same typeface and is not aligned with the other text in the same line.

The viral image is fake and was created by one X (formerly  Twitter) user using Microsoft Paintbrush.

The masthead clearly states that the image is "satire."

(Source: Facebook/Altered by The Quint)

Additionally, there is are several alignment errors in the text and images on the front page.

  • The image also carries a screenshot of a Hindi newspaper article, along with a section which uses Hinglish, mispelling 'Modiji' as "Moiji." It is unlikely for an international English-language publication to use a Hindi honorific such as 'ji'.

  • We also saw that the screenshot mentioned that the 'report' was by '@EducatedBilla'.

The viral image is fake and was created by one X (formerly  Twitter) user using Microsoft Paintbrush.

There are several errors in formatting.

(Source: Facebook/Altered by The Quint)

The source: We looked for the username '@EducatedBilla' on social media websites.

  • On X (formerly Twitter), we came across an account with the same name, that had also shared this post.

Responding to several user comments, the account clarified that this was "satire" made by them, using Microsoft's Paintbrush application.

(Swipe to view responses.)

  • The user mentioned that it was "satire."

    (Source: X/Screenshot)

The newspaper: We checked The New York Times' website to see what their front page had carried on 15 March 2024, which is the date mentioned in the viral screenshot.

  • Its national edition carried articles about snake catchers, the rising far-right in Germany, and New York senator Chuck Schumer's criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The viral image is fake and was created by one X (formerly  Twitter) user using Microsoft Paintbrush.

The New York and National editions of the paper did not mentioned PM Modi on their front page.

(Source: The New York Times/Screenshot)

  • The publication's international edition, too, had no mention of PM Modi, instead mentioning Russia's trade route through Iran and US President Joe Biden.

The viral image is fake and was created by one X (formerly  Twitter) user using Microsoft Paintbrush.

The international edition of the paper did not mentioned PM Modi on its front page.

(Source: The New York Times/Screenshot)

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When we looked for NYT's recent reports mentioning PM Modi, we saw that they had published three articles with his name.

One of them discussed the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the second one was about inequality and the Ambani wedding event, while the third one mentioned electoral bonds.

The viral image is fake and was created by one X (formerly  Twitter) user using Microsoft Paintbrush.

We saw only one report mentioning PM Modi which was published on 15 March.

(Source: The New York Times/Screenshot)

Though the third article, about electoral bonds, mentioned PM Modi's name, we found that did not directly attack or criticise the prime minister in any way.

  • It carried a statement by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, who spoke about electoral bonds "independent India's biggest scandal."

  • In connection to this statement, the report mentioned that "the ruling Bharatiya Janata party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi used law enforcement agencies" to extort businesses for money.

  • Additionally, it mentioned PM Modi's name again, while discussing the amount of money the BJP got through electoral bonds.

Conclusion: A fake screenshot has gone viral with the false claim that The New York Times mocked PM Modi on its front page.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on  WhatsApp at 9540511818 ,, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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