A morphed screenshot of a tweet posted by former US President Barack Obama has gone viral, claiming that he is “ashamed of shaking hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
The viral screenshot shows a photograph of President Obama and PM Modi shaking hands and a caption saying, “Today I am shamefull for a hand shake with this man... #Narendra Modi [sic]”.
The screenshot was widely shared on Facebook and Twitter.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We went through President Obama’s Twitter feed and didn’t see the viral tweet on it. We also noticed some errors in the tweet that raised a red flag.
1. LANGUAGE OF TWEET
The language of the tweet was the first clue that it might have been an edited tweet. The one-line tweet had both grammatical and spelling errors. The words “shameful” and handshake were spelt incorrectly as “shamefull” and “hand shake”. The sentence structure was also not right.
2. WRONG SHARE BUTTON
We then analysed the viral tweet with a real tweet on Obama’s feed. While comparing the viral tweet with the website version of Twitter, we noticed that the “share” button was different. It could not have been a screenshot of the Tweetdeck view either, as the “share” button does not show up in the Tweetdeck view.
In the Tweetdeck view, the gap between interactions was less as compared to the viral tweet.
3. ALIGNMENT OF TEXT AND IMAGES
While comparing the viral tweet with a real tweet in different views, we noticed that the alignment of the text, image and the interaction was not as it is supposed to be.
Here’s a detailed comparison of the tweets in four views – website, Tweetdeck, mobile and Twitter application.
When an image is shared on Twitter, it is aligned with the text of the tweet. However, in the viral tweet, the image was not aligned with the text. Similarly, the alignment of the interactions was also not correct when compared with a real tweet.
Evidently, the viral image of President Obama’s tweet is morphed and was shared to create a false narrative.