In this day and age of social media and Photoshop, it’s easy to fall into the trap of circulating false images when tragedies happen. One such image has been circulating since the Paris attacks last week, and it turns out that the image of an alleged terrorist involved in the attacks is actually an altered image of a Canadian Sikh.
Veerender Jubbal woke up on Saturday morning to find that a selfie he’d taken in front of the mirror had been altered to show him holding a Quran, instead of his iPad which he took the image with, and wearing a bomb vest. The image had reached such wide circulation that it was even published on the front page of a Spanish newspaper on Sunday morning with the caption “one of the terrorists.” Jubbal was quick to tweet that he is a) a Sikh and not a Muslim, and b) that turbans are worn by Sikhs and not Muslims. The original photo in question was posted to Twitter by Jubbal on August 4th.
— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) August 4, 2015
Jubbal is no stranger to online controversy, and feels that his recent criticism of the GamerGate movement last year may be part of the reason he was targeted with the photoshopped image. Grasswire was quick to tweet a side by side composite of the two images on Twitter, and at this time it has over 1556 retweets. That being said, it’s hard to calculate how many times the altered image was tweeted, Facebooked, or shared and re-shared on other social media outlets.
In the wake of events like these, it’s easy to get caught up in the social media storm and blindly reshare images or “facts” that others have shared to their social media streams, and given the photo editing skills of some people it’s not hard to see why.
Have you ever re-shared an image or “fact” that was later found out to be false? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.