An image allegedly shared by former US President Barack Obama on his Twitter account shows him shaking hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The caption with this image reads, “Today I am shameful for a hand shake with this man… #Narendra Modi”
The photograph and claim has been shared by other social media users as well.
This claim comes amid the ongoing farmers’ protests in Delhi.
Fact Check/ Verification
We first looked through Barack Obama’s Twitter timeline but found no such tweet shared by him recently. In fact, Obama hasn’t tweeted anything related to the ongoing farmers’ agitation in India in the last two weeks. On 5 December, the date in the claim’s image, Obama posted only two tweets about his book, A Promised Land.
We also found the viral tweet to include grammatical errors such as the usage of “shameful” when the appropriate word would have been “ashamed”. Also, contrary to what’s seen in the viral image, handshake is one word, not two. Such grammatical errors by former US President Obama are not natural.
A comparison of the viral image with Obama’s actual tweet on 5 December 2020 shows obvious errors in alignment and the use of a software to manipulate his tweet.
Next, we did a Google reverse image search of the photograph in context.
Results of this search led us to a 2014 Economic Times article titled, “PM Narendra Modi’s US visit: Eight highlights.” With the claim’s image included, the article read, “In a four day visit to US, Modi not only met US President Barack Obama, but also sought to invite investment from prominent CEOs and urged the Indian-American community to take up a greater role in the development of India.”
We found the same image on the Embassy of India, Washington, D.C., USA’s website.
Other images of PM Modi and Obama during this visit wearing the same clothes as in the viral image as well as the same background can be viewed here.
This claim has been debunked in our Hindi fact-check as well.
Former US President Barack Obama did not tweet about feeling shameful for a handshake with PM Modi. Image in the claim has been manipulated to spread fake news.
Barack Obama’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarackObama
Embassy of India, Washington, D.C., USA: https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/extra?id=21