An image of a billboard is going viral on all social media platforms. The text on the banner read, “Nothing in this country is free. If you are getting something without paying for it, thank a taxpayer. Not to Kejriwal.” Netizens are sharing it massively, reiterating the words written on the billboard, with captions like, “If you are getting anything for free, thank a taxpayer not to kejriwal.”
Major Surendra Poonia, former Special Forces officer of the Indian Army, currently a politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party, tweeted the viral image on 29th July 2021 with the caption, “Absolutely True ! Salute to Every Taxpayer, Jai Hind!”
Absolutely True !
Salute to Every Taxpayer 🙏❤️
Jai Hind 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/Nu0bkWGAAp
— Major Surendra Poonia (@MajorPoonia) July 29, 2021
If you are getting anything for free thank a taxpayer not kejriwal pic.twitter.com/ug8WUwB9I6
— exsecular (@ExSecular) July 24, 2021
Wonder what is there to fact check about this hoarding? The statement Thank the taxpayer,not Arvind Kejriwal or the hoarding itself. pic.twitter.com/RmNdtuTI1m
— anil kohli 🇮🇳 (@anilkohli54) July 29, 2021
The image also went heavily viral in 2020.
— Nation First (@Enlighten_9) February 6, 2020
— Umesh Saradhna (@umeshsaradhna) February 6, 2020
In addition to that, the same picture has also been shared on Facebook multiple times recently, in March of 2021 and last year.
The phrase “Not to Kejriwal” has digitally been added to the viral image. The original image is from Alabama, USA.
First and foremost, looking at the image for visual clues, one can tell that it is an edited copy. The font style and line spacing of the last line are different from the others. The phrase “Not to Kejriwal” looks congested, and the sentence before it ends with a period.
Now, we began the investigation by running a reverse image search on the viral photo and found the following picture uploaded on Pinterest, an image-sharing platform. The text overlaying on the picture read, “Actual billboard in South Alabama.”
Towards the bottom right-hand corner, we found the name and logo of a website, ALFREEMARKET.COM. We then looked for the website’s social media handles and found their Twitter account. Looking through it, we came across the following tweet dated 5th June 2015.
— AFMA (@ALFreeMarket) June 5, 2015
Similarly, another US-based website named Yellow Hammer published the image in the following article with the headline, “This billboard in Alabama may be the greatest thing ever.”
Furthermore, an article published on Freedom by Barbara featured the original image and mentioned, “an amazing billboard on the outskirts of Monroeville, Alabama, went viral after Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, tweeted a picture of it to his many followers. “Nothing in this country is free,” the billboard read. “If you are getting something without paying for it, thank a taxpayer.”
Back in India, Mr Nilesh Shah, the Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co. Ltd., also tweeted the above image in 2019 with the caption, “This is a poster in South Alabama.”
This is a poster in South Alabama. pic.twitter.com/4t8mo8JA6n
— Nilesh Shah (@NileshShah68) January 11, 2019
Hence, with all the above evidence, we can conclude that it is a morphed image of a billboard from Alabama, and the words “Not to Kejriwal” have been digitally added to it.