This photo of a Trump Tower billboard above sleeping homeless children is real


A photograph of the slum children of Mumbai sleeping beneath a billboard for Trump Tower went viral in early December, 2016.

Initially denounced as a fake on Reddit and, the photographer Paul Needham has since come forward.

Since Trump's elevation to the international stage as president-elect, the juxtaposition becomes even more powerful than simply a hotel magnate and people in poverty.

When the image initially went viral, some doubted its veracity.

Needham has since spoken to indy100, and verified the image.

I was in Mumbai to meet a social impact investor. I run a company called Simpa Networks, Simpa Energy here in India. We provide solar energy solutions to farmers and small shops in rural India.

Picture:Picture: Paul Needham

He explained that the image was taken by chance, as they drove past the billboard.

I was on my way to a meeting with this investor and I noticed the billboard from my taxi window. The traffic was creeping along, so I was able to open the window and snap a few shots.

Needham posted the image in August 2014, and again on 17 December 2016.

Users on Reddit quickly dismissed the photo as a doctored image., unable to find the source of the original image, had previously attributed it to a man from Mumbai and a fake news website.

Snopes has since retracted their original report, and posted the entire saga on their site.

Speaking about the debacle, Needham told indy100:

I think it's very interesting that whenever a geek says a photo is digitally altered, Photoshopped, we all tend to believe then, presuming that their assertion based on some advanced technical analysis that we mere mortals couldn't understand.

We take it as fact when a Snopes or the reddit community calls an image Photoshopped. Why are we so enthralled to this new digital priesthood? And how indeed can we separate fact from fiction?

He went on the praise Snopes for their other good work.

I'm grateful to the good people at Snopes who quickly responded and updated the post.

Needham also sent indy100 another photo showing the rest of the scene that day in August 2014.

Picture:Picture: Paul Needham

Update December 31 1515GMT: A previous version of this article reported that the billboard was for 'Trump Hotel', this has now been amended to 'Trump Tower'.

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