Photo of Wrestlers Vinesh and Sangeeta Phogat Smiling During Detention Is Fake

We found that the image has been edited to show both wrestlers smiling after being detained.

3 min read

A picture of detained wrestlers who were marching towards the new Parliament building on 28 May is going viral on the internet. In the picture, wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat can be seen smiling.

What is the claim?: It is being shared with a narrative that the wrestlers are not serious towards their protest and can be seen smiling even after being detained by the Delhi police.

  • The claim comes when the wrestlers protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar were planning to carry out a march on the same day as the inauguration of the new Parliament building.

  • Hundreds of protesting wrestlers were detained during the march. Some visuals of the police personnel detaining them have also gone viral.

We found that the image has been edited to show both wrestlers smiling after being detained.

An archive of the post can be seen here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

The picture was shared by one Harsh Vardhan Tripathi, who claims to be a journalist. The tweet has recorded more than 5,00,00 views.


Another user named Salil Tripathi's post garnered more than 37,000 views. (Archives of similar posts can be seen here and here.)

What is the truth?: The picture is not real. The original one, which showed detained wrestlers in a bus, has been edited to add a 'smile' using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application.

How did we find out?: A reverse image search led us to a tweet posted by journalist Mandeep Punia. It was shared hours before the photo of wrestlers smiling went viral.

  • The photo shared by Punia did not show wrestlers smiling.

Now which picture was real:

  • We looked for more pictures of wrestlers Vinesh and Sangeeta smiling on their verified social media handles.

  • On comparing these pictures with the viral one, we found that both wrestlers do not have dimples.

  • (Swipe right to view both the images.)

  • It can be seen that Vinesh Phogat does not have a dimple in the original pictures.

    (Photo: Social media/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

  • The wrestler does not have a dimple as seen in the viral image.

    (Photo: Social media/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

  • We also compared pictures of Sangeeta smiling in other pictures and found that she does not have a dimple either.

  • (Swipe right to view all comparisons.)

Picture edited on AI app: Several users on Twitter pointed out that the viral picture has possibly been edited using an AI application called Face App. When we tried using the 'smile' filter on the application, we got a similar result as the viral image.

  • It is clear that the picture showing wrestlers smiling has been edited.

We found that the image has been edited to show both wrestlers smiling after being detained.

The viral image which shows wrestlers smiling has been edited.

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

A new narrative after the truth came out: After it was revealed that the image was edited, a video was shared with a different narrative. Users claimed that Vinesh Phogat was seen smiling while looking outside from the bus.

  • This video was also being shared in the wrong context.

  • In reality, the wrestler sarcastically said, "Congratulations on a new country."

  • The visuals of the wrestlers, including Vinesh, being detained during the march went viral on the internet. It proved that the claim of the wrestler smiling after being detained was false.

Conclusion: It is clear that an edited image is being shared to falsely claim that wrestlers Vinesh and Sangeeta were seen smiling after being detained.

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