That viral 'blurred' picture of Angela Merkel in Saudi Arabia is fake

Harriet Marsden@harriet1marsden
Thursday 04 May 2017 15:30

A new viral picture is doing the rounds, showing Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel's hair blurred out on Saudi Arabian state television.

Lebanese self-described geopolitical commentator Sarah Abdullah posted this picture of Merkel standing with Kimg Salman.

It has been met with disbelief, disdain and even disgust, and retweeted more than 20,000 times.

However, not all is as it seems...


The photo was originally distributed to media photo agencies by the Saudi Royal Court - it's not even from Saudi state television.

It was then edited and uploaded by satirical Facebook page 'Khase News' (think The Onion or the Daily Mash).

The caption?

"Just for fun..."

According to the i, a spokesperson for Khase News said:

Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive regimes int he world and in the Middle East.

The photo is criticising the fact that in Saudi it is forbidden for a woman to show her hair. Yet when a powerful woman like Merkel comes, [the regime] does nothing about it.

Our own logo says 'sarcastic news'. It is written right under our name!

Saudi Arabia has just been inducted into the UN's Women's Rights Commission, despite its worrying record of discrimination against equal rights.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, made this statement:

This is a black day for women's rights, and for all human rights. 

Saudi discrimination against women is gross and systematic in law and in practice. 

[...] Why did the UN choose the world’s leading oppressor of women to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women?

Abdallah did subsequently post this tweet to her 70,000-strong following...

Fair point.

Nevertheless, these are halcyon days of viral sharing, manipulated images and suspect news.

So it's more important than ever to analyse the authenticity of what you're about to autpilot-retweet.

Is that picture real? Where did that article come from? Can you cross reference that source?

More: Five things the Prime Minister won't be allowed to do in Saudi Arabia today because she happens to be a woman

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