August 16, 2022

PTI Fact Check: Viral pictures of famous world monuments in Indian Tricolour lights are edited

New Delhi, Aug 16 (PTI Fact Check) As India celebrated its 76th Independence Day on August 15, several social media posts went viral with images of some famous world monuments lit up in Indian Tricolour lights. Many users shared the photos claiming that these pictures were clicked to mark the 75th anniversary of India's Independence from British rule. PTI Fact Check Desk has found in its investigation that images of the world monuments in the Tricolour lights are edited and have been viral on different social media platforms since 2017.


Claim

Some social media users shared images of famous monuments around the world, such as the Eiffel Tower of Paris, the Statue of Liberty in the United States, the Leaning Tower of Italy, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, etc., shown in the Tricolour lights as a tribute to India, which celebrated its 76th Independence Day on August 15, 2022.

A Facebook page named 'WorldInfo Channel' posted a video on August 15. The video has images of the world's iconic monuments. The link can be seen here.

The PTI Fact Check Desk also found that two users shared the same images with similar claims on the Linkedin platform. The links can be seen here and here.

Investigation

The Desk cropped out the image of the Eiffel Tower from the collage of the world monuments and conducted a Google Reverse Image Search using 'India Independence Day' as the keyword.   

The Google Reverse Image search led the Desk to one post on the Facebook page 'Growing India' published on January 27, 2017. The post has the same images of the world monuments lit in Saffron, White, and Green Colours, as shown in the viral posts published by the 'WorldInfo Channel' FB page on August 14, 2022. The link can be seen here.

The Desk found another post on the Facebook page with the name 'I Support Modi Ji and BJP,' with the same collage using the same viral images on January 28, 2019. It can be seen here

The Google Reverse Image Search revealed that some images in the viral post are not new and have been used by different Facebook pages since 2017.

Subsequently, the Desk investigated to trace the source of the viral images. After searching with different keywords in Google Search, it came across another Facebook page of an Entertainment website -- 'Filter Copy.' 

The Desk noticed that this FB page had posted a series of filtered images (As shown in the viral post) on January 26, 2017.

All the edited images can be seen on the links below- 

1. Burj Al Arab

2. Statue of Liberty

3. Christ The Redeemer

4. Petronas Twin Towers

5. Leaning Tower of Pisa

6. Eiffel Tower

7. Colosseum of Rome

8. 30 St Mary Axe

9. Big Ben

All these images are edited, and the disclaimer can be seen at the bottom right of all photos, which says, "This is an edited picture."

Now, this is evident that some users have cropped out the disclaimer part from all the images and shared them with false claims. And these edited images have been doing rounds on social media since 2017.

During the investigation, the Desk also found that Kiran Bedi, former Lt. Governor of the Union Territory of Puducherry, had tweeted eight of the nine edited pictures from the above list as a collage with the text - "Fantastic. Jai Hind in 2017. The link can be seen here

Bedi is a former officer of the Indian Police Service and was once associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party. She later accepted the error of posting edited images from her Twitter handle.

Some of the images shared are real also. Many iconic monuments have been illuminated in the colours of the Indian flag in the past to support India's celebrations of Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15).

On 26 January 2017, Dubai's Burj Khalifa was lit in Tricolour lights to celebrate India's 68th Independence Day, and Burj Khalifa's handle on Twitter posted the image. Here is the link.

The Desk also found a report published on August 16, 2018, by television news company NDTV, with the headline 'Empire State Building, Niagara Falls Lit-Up for India's Independence Day'.  Here is the story link.

Here is the tweet posted by the Empire State Building handle on August 16, 2018.

On the occasion of India's 76th Independence Day, many iconic buildings in India were illuminated with tri-coloured lights as part of the 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations. 

The recent pictures can be seen here, here, and here also.

Even the Empire State Building Twitter Handle posted a tweet on August 15, 2022, with the image of the building colouerd in Saffron, White, and Green Colours. The tweet can be seen here.  

The Burj Khalifa has often been coloured in Tricolour lights to express support during India's Independence Day and Republic Day. It was also lighted in Tricolour theme on January 25 last year to support India's Republic Day. Here is the link of the story by The Economic Times.


Claim

Famous monuments worldwide were draped in the Tricolour lights as a tribute to India's 76th Independence Day on August 15, 2022.


Fact

Viral images of world's iconic monuments lit up in Tricolour lights claimed as recent are edited.
 

Conclusion

Many social media users have shared a collage of the images of famous world monuments in the colours (Saffron, White, Green) of the Indian Tricolour. All the images of the world's iconic buildings in the viral posts are edited. 

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