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  4. FACT CHECK: Fake image circulates claiming Burj Khalifa lit up for Ram Navami | Here's the truth

FACT CHECK: Fake image circulates claiming Burj Khalifa lit up for Ram Navami | Here's the truth

A digitally manipulated image falsely depicting a Ram Navami celebration on Dubai's Burj Khalifa has surfaced on social media, featuring a laser projection of the Hindu deity Rama. However, the India TV Fact Check team has exposed the deceptive nature of the viral content.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: January 24, 2024 23:54 IST
Screenshot of a fake image claiming Burj Khalifa lit up for
Image Source : INDIA TV Screenshot of a fake image claiming Burj Khalifa lit up for Ram Navami.

In a recent wave of misinformation, a digitally manipulated image purportedly showcasing a Ram Navami celebration on Dubai's Burj Khalifa has been circulating on social media. The false image features a laser projection of the Hindu deity Rama on the iconic skyscraper, accompanied by a misleading caption. The India TV Fact Check team has scrutinised this claim and uncovered the deceptive nature of the viral content.

Deceptive image dissected

The manipulated image portrayed a laser projection of Hindu deity Rama onto the Burj Khalifa, adorned with the text "Jai Shri Ram." However, an investigation by the India TV Fact Check team revealed that this image has been digitally altered. The original photo, sourced from stock photo repositories like iStockphoto and Adobe Stock, does not include any visuals of the Hindu deity. The misleading image emerged in the aftermath of Ram Navami, observed on March 30, 2023.

India Tv - FACT CHECK

Image Source : INDIA TVA manipulated image portrayed a laser projection of Hindu deity Rama onto the Burj Khalifa, adorned with the text "Jai Shri Ram."

Ram Navami incidents and communal tensions

The Ram Navami festivities on March 30, 2023, were marred by incidents of violence reported across various states, including West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Stone pelting and arson contributed to escalating communal tensions during the celebrations.

False social media circulation

The deceptive image was widely shared on social media platforms, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. The viral content was often accompanied by a mute icon, suggesting it may have originated as a video, emphasising the need for vigilance regarding manipulated multimedia.

Dubious origins on social media

Further analysis of the social media circulation patterns indicates that the viral image may have been cropped from a larger image shared as a story on Facebook. The deceptive image, when shared on Twitter, retained the mute icon and emojis, reinforcing the need for users to exercise caution and verify such content.

Verification through official sources

The India TV Fact Check team meticulously investigated the official social media pages of the Burj Khalifa on Facebook and Instagram. Despite claims circulating on social media about a Ram Navami celebration projection on March 30, 2023, no posts from the verified pages corroborated this event. A laser display was indeed projected on March 26 to commemorate Bangladesh's 52nd independence day, as per the Burj Khalifa's verified Facebook page. Additionally, the last laser and light show for the season was announced for March 31, 2023, but there was no indication of a Ram Navami-themed display.

India Tv - FACT CHECK

Image Source : INDIA TVA reverse image search matched a stock photo, confirming the image manipulation.

Doctored video hoax recall

This incident is not the first time the India TV Fact Check team has encountered manipulated content related to the Burj Khalifa. A previous debunking involved a doctored video created using the online editing app 'Buigo,' falsely claiming the projection of Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi's image on the skyscraper. Such applications allow users to superimpose their chosen images onto the Burj Khalifa through digital manipulation.

Vigilance against digital manipulation

This deceptive incident emphasises the critical importance of fact-checking and critical evaluation, especially in the era of digital manipulation. Misleading visuals can contribute to the spread of false narratives, underscoring the need for users to exercise caution, verify sources, and rely on accurate information. 

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