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HomeFact CheckEdited Photo Of Vinesh Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat Smiling During Detention By Delhi...

Edited Photo Of Vinesh Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat Smiling During Detention By Delhi Police Goes Viral

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim
Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat seen smiling inside a police van after they were detained.

Fact
Original photo was found to be edited using an app.

A photo purportedly showing wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat smiling inside a police vehicle after being detained has gone viral, evoking reactions of surprise across social media, with many users citing it as evidence to call the protest ‘staged’ for political purposes.

The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

Protesting wrestlers detained

Several ace wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, were, on May 28, reportedly manhandled and detained by Delhi Police for violation of law and order after they breached the security cordon while trying to march towards the new Parliament building for a planned women’s ‘Mahapanchayat’.

The wrestlers were living in makeshift tents at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for nearly 35 days to protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who is accused of sexual harassment. The Delhi Police have also cleared their protest site at Jantar Mantar, 3km from where the new parliament building was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Also Read: Photo From Farmers’ Protest Shared as Delhi Police Trampling Olympic Medalist Sakshi Malik’s Face

Fact check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “wrestlers smiling protest”, which led us to multiple reports stating that a morphed photo of wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat smiling in a vehicle has surfaced on Twitter. The reports can be seen here, here and here.

The reports led us to a tweet by Bajrang Punia, dated May 28, 2023, stating, “IT cell people are spreading this false picture. We make it clear that a complaint will be filed against whoever posted this fake picture.” Punia tweeted two photos, one morphed and the other genuine, which do not show Sangeeta Phogat and Vinesh Phogat smiling.

A relevant keyword search on Twitter led us to this tweet by @RizviUzair, dated May 28, 2023, sharing a tutorial of how faces can be enhanced using an AI app. “The same has been done in this photo [referring to the non-smiling one] using “FaceApp” to make it look like the Indian wrestlers and others are smiling while being detained.”

We learnt that the original photo was tweeted by journalist Mandeep Punia on May 28.

We applied the same effects on the original photo using FaceApp.

A comparison of the viral photo (left) with the one modified using FaceApp confirms that it is the same image.

Further, a comparison with photos of a smiling Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat, taken from their social media accounts and from news reports, proves that the viral photo is edited as the two wrestlers do not have dimples in the other pictures.

Sangeeta Phogat
Vinesh Phogat
(Source: Wikimedia Commons, The Bridge, Instagram)

Also Read: Karnataka Man’s Assault Of Electricity Official Falsely Linked To Congress’s ‘Free Power’ Promise

Conclusion

The viral photo of a smiling Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat from inside a police van after they were detained was found to be altered using an AI app.

Result: Altered Media

Sources
Mint report, May 29, 2023
Tweet, Mandeep Punia, May 28, 2023
Tweet, Uzair Rizvi, May 28, 2023
Images created using FaceApp


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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