Did Rahul Gandhi use a photo of lake Rakshas Tal from Google ?

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Rahul Gandhi tweeted two photos together with text “The stunning beauty of lake Rakshas Tal. #KailashYatra” on 5th September 2018.

Suddenly came a Eureka moment for many claiming this photo is not taken by him but has been taken from Google, BUT then no one gave the link to the image they found, all used just one image with Rahul Gandhi’s tweet and a screenshot of thumbnail of many images.

Vikas Pandey @MODIfiedVikas

Why is @RahulGandhi tweeting mansarovar pictures from google image search? Is he actually there or still enjoying pig meat in Nepal? 🤔

A question –

Priti Gandhi @MrsGandhi
. @RahulGandhi Are you downloading pics from the internet and tweeting? Are you really at Mansarovar or some place else?

Suresh Nakhua @SureshNakhua
Scam Scam Scam
Scam in tweeting pics too.
Was #OutonBail @RahulGandhi in Mansarovar or somewhere else ?
By any chance Germany ???

Mahesh Vikram Hegde @mvmeet
Why Rahul Gandhi tweeting pictures off the internet?
Is he somewhere else and pretending to be in Mansarovar?

Analysis –

The entire episode was based on just one screenshot, link to which no one could provide.
On the thumbnail of the image circled in green color you can see 800 X 600 justdial which means the image is taken from justdial website which actually is quite the opposite.

So here the claim is that the photo tweeted by Rahul Gandhi was found on Google image search so he picked the tweeted image from Google.

First of all the clear message – The viral image says “justdial” but no one gave the proof/link using screenshot but here it is –


So the photo on Justdial is posted on Rahul Gandhi’s Justdial account and was published by his twitter account, exactly the same tweet to be precise. This clears that the many are calling the image been picked up from Google was on there from Rahul Gandhi’s account itself.

So basically the image seen in the google results was from Rahul Gandhi himself and not from anyone else.

Let’s try to understand in detail.
First of all, when you put up a photo on social media (unless private or other such terms) or on website, Google indexes it through it’s web crawler, so it may show up in someone else’s search results.

And to prove the image to be wrong, one need to find if that image was uploaded on internet before this tweet, or someone posted higher resolution image with metadata intact, also need to click on the image found and see it’s context, date etc which was not provided in this case of calling it wrong.

In case of image, debunking of a fake image usually consists of reverse image search on Google, or searching for an image with keyword, name etc.
As usual, before others false Eureka moment came, SMHoaxSlayer reverse searched the image immediately after Rahul Gandhi’s tweet but couldn’t find it in search results then to call it false.

Then people tagging on the the tweet by Vikas Pandey started asking  if it’s true that Rahul picked the image from Google ?

So SMHoaxSlayer asked him to provide the link because as you might already be knowing, it’s quite easy to create/edit images/screenshots. The proof in such cases can only be a link to some credible website or to a post/tweet which used this image before Rahul Gandhi’s tweet.
But no link was provided, was told that “it was sent be a friend

You can check the conversation here –


When asked for link he gave out another photo of the same lake, similar looking but now exact. He also used the words “The pic I just tweeted seems to be from same location, almost same time and same angle. Taken at gap of may be 1-2 mins (clouds changing position). Most definitely RG didn’t tweet the pic he took himself. Must be bought off the shelf from the same pool. See first pic of RG
The Keyword above is “seems to be from same location”

So instead of the link of the viral Eureka find, a similar looking photo was provided.

From here the discussion by all went into different points to defend.

1. Similar looking photo

The sky color in both the photos are different and yes it can have some editing or filter effect as said by him, but clouds ? The reason provided was “Taken at gap of may be 1-2 mins (clouds changing position)
When one has found an exact match as claimed in viral photo, why not provide it’s link and settle for “seems to be”
Further, Kailsah Mansarovar is a very popular tourist spot and lakhs of people visit it, and mostly take photos from the most preferred angle in which case, many have the same preference of angle and spot and many upload photos from their travel on net, which means it’s quite probable to find two silimilar looking photos from different people and different date.

This screenshot from a video posted on YouTube in 2012 also look “similiar”

2. There’s no cellular network there so how can he tweet ?
The tweet doesn’t say that it’s posted immediately after taking the photo from the location itself. This again is open to many possibilities, there is no 100% certainty that the lake doesn’t have cellular network, secondly he or his team could have tweeted after returning to the place/hotel they were staying at.


A Parody handle by the name Maithun accepted it after tweeting

So in a nutshell, only a screenshot was used as proof which to prove the image taken from someone else/Google wasn’t worth to be a proof at all.

Hoax Slayer

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SMHoaxSlayer is India's largest and oldest Fact Checker. Started in Aug 2015, it had debunked more than 2000 Fake News till now. Check more at smhoaxslayer.com/team