The Queen’s Platinum jubilee, marking 70 years of her reign as the UK’s monarch, led to an increase in conversation about the future of the royal family.
A picture of Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, claiming to show her waving a Union Flag at a Jubilee event, was posted on social media, with a caption claiming Scottish nationalists were “up in arms about this picture of their beloved leader waving the Union Flag”.
Ferret Fact Service looked into this and found it FFS (For Facts’ Sake).
The image was posted by a Twitter user, and shared over 3,600 times, and appears to show the First Minister waving a small union flag on a stick.
It is actually a very crude manipulation of another image, which shows Nicola Sturgeon’s attendance at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The original image, taken by Associated Press, shows the First Minister in the background as Royal Family members Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie arrive at the Platinum Jubilee concert.
In the original picture she is sitting with both hands out of the picture, but in the altered image a union flag has been crudely photoshopped in, along with an arm to make it look as though she is holding it.
Closer inspection shows this attempt to mislead is rather basic, with the arm purported to by Sturgeon’s actually extending in front of the chair she is sitting behind.
This is one crude example of a misleading or manipulated image being used to make a political point. Nicola Sturgeon has regularly been the subject of these, with one manipulated image falsely claiming to show her watching the Alex Salmond inquiry at Bute House going viral in 2021. The image was actually her cabinet watching the UK Supreme Court verdict on the proroguing of parliament in 2019.
How to avoid falling for misleading images:
- Do a common sense test. Does the image seem too good to be true or impossible?
- Do you trust the source? Check out the information on the website or social media account that shares it.
- If there is no source, try to work out where the image has come from. You can use image searches or search for the context to see if you can find it or similar images.
- Most reverse image search engines will show you times where the image has appeared on different sites, and show you visually similar images. You might be able to find the original and see if it has been altered.
- If something seems odd about the picture, check for telltale signs it might not be accurate. Look closely at the image to see if something or someone looks unnatural or awkwardly placed. This can be a sign of manipulation.
- Could it be a real picture in the wrong context? Sometimes a non-photoshopped image is connected incorrectly to an event. This happens often during rolling news events such as terror attacks or conflicts.
Ferret Fact Service verdict: FFS
This is a poorly photoshopped picture of Nicola Sturgeon at the Queen’s Platinum jubilee concert, into which someone has added a union flag. While the First Minister did attend the event, there is no evidence she was captured waving a flag.
FFS! (For Facts’ Sake) – The claim is baseless, ridiculous and/or logically impossible!
Ferret Fact Service (FFS) is a non-partisan fact checker, and a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles. All the sources used in our checks are publicly available and the FFS fact-checking methodology can be viewed here. Want to suggest a fact check? Go to ideas.theferret.scot, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our Facebook group.