Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is at the center of a new Photoshop meme this week after his government was caught red handed trying to pass off a Photoshop fail as an authentic press photo.
QZ reports that Modi traveled to Tamil Nadu yesterday to survey the southern Indian state that has been devastated by flooding. India’s Press Information Bureau, the official state media agency, soon published this photo with the caption “PM @narendramodi conducting aerial survey of rain hit area in Tamil Nadu”:
Here’s a larger version of the photo:
People soon began pointing out that something was off about the photo — it was clearly a badly done Photoshop job. Turns out, the PIB had already Tweeted the original photo just hours before, and it was still visible on the account’s timeline:
As is common with this type of highly visible Photoshop fail, people began remixing the original photo themselves in ridiculous ways:
— Gary Fishman (@gazfish1) December 4, 2015
— JB (@jayb6021) December 4, 2015
— Bobin James (@Bobin_James) December 3, 2015
Caught red-handed, the PIB quickly took down its Tweets. Today the bureau published a “clarification” on its website, saying:
Pictures of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi undertaking the aerial survey of flood affected areas of Tamil Nadu were released on PIB Twitter Handle and PIB’s website last evening.
Out of the seven pictures released, one picture used the technique of merging two pictures. This is being referred to as “Photoshopping” in sections of media. This happened due to error of judgement and the picture was subsequently deleted. PIB regrets the release of the above mentioned picture. Inconvenience caused is regretted.