A Facebook page called “Gal Kotiya” posted a photo with the caption “මේ ඡායාරූපය සියවසේ හොඳම ඡායාරූපය ලෙස නම් කෙරුණා” translating to English as “This was considered the best photo of the century” with a description “සැවනා කතරේ වතුර සොයමින් යන සිංහ පැටවාගේ අපහසුව දුටු ඇතෙක් විලට යාමට සහාය වන අයුරු ඡායාරූපයෙන් දිස්වේ. සිංහ මව නිහතමානීව පසෙකින් ගමන් කරයි. කිසිම හේතුවකින් තොරව ගහමරා ගන්නා මනු සතාට ගත හැකි ආදර්ශ බොහෝය” Meaning in English “A lioness and her cub were crossing the Savanna, but the cub was in great difficulty and an elephant realizing this discomfort, carrying the cub to the pool of water with lioness walking calmly beside. This is an example to all humans who quarrel without any reason”
A Twitter user also shared the image.
The original post gained so much popularity among users and there were over 12000 shares on Facebook. Some users commended on the example shown, while some users responded this to be fake.
Fact Check (සත්ය තොරතුරු විමර්ශනය කිරීම)
We did a simple “Google reverse image search” and observed that this image had been circulating heavily over the internet.
The image with red letters across the image stating “FAKE” drew our attention and we checked the image. Person named Craig Charles has done a fact check, on September 2018 and concluded this to be a fake and he has shown the images of the lioness as well as the cub separately.
We observed that a web page called latestsightings.com had claimed how they had perfected this image to go viral and reach millions of people. In an article “How to make your April Fools go viral” they stated “right since the star of Latest Sightings in 2011, we have always stayed away from anything that can cause controversy, (news stories, religious based holidays, and politics) so making an innocent April Fool’s joke is always a highlight for us as it can get our whole community involved”.
And indeed we found that there were similar April fool’s images done by the website
Below is the original post by Latest Sightings – Kruger, who had posted this on 1st of April 2018, which has been shared over 59,000 times now!
Further investigation revealed us this tweet from Nadav Ossendryver’s, associated with the Kruger Sightings account, on 2nd April 2018. “Yesterday I shared an April Fool’s joke that went super viral. It reached a total of 6million people with an engagement coming in every 0.5 seconds!”
We also noticed few fact checks which had already been carried out about this image and in a fact-check done by snopes.com, they had clearly compared the original image with the edited version as below.
Of course keeping up the with the April fool’s traditions Kruger Sightings had posted a doctored image on 1st April 2019 as well!
We did a simple Google search to find out if there was a photograph named “photograph of the century” and found that while there have been many instances where top photographs have been awarded there was not a single instance where one photograph was identified as the best photograph of the century. Funnily enough a fact check done on this image of elephant with the lion cub was also listed by Google.
It is clear that the post “This is the best photograph of the century” is an edited image used by the “Kruger Sightings” social media team as an April fool’s joke on 1st April 2018.
Title:Best photograph of the century ?Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe