It is likely that, since last Friday, May 29, you have come across a cover of Time magazine in which the silhouette of Donald Trump is trimmed as if it were the mustache of Adolf Hitler. The illustration is accompanied by the following message: "Racism. The biggest virus." A single tweet shared that day with that image exceeds 40,000 interactions:
What a (painful) wonder pic.twitter.com/AYDhEIgSwn- Marcos Pereda (@ MarcosPereda2) May 29, 2020
This cover page brought together two very topical issues in his message. On the one hand, the word "virus", an allusion to the pandemic that, as of June 1, 2020, has already cost the lives of more than 370,000 people worldwide. On the other, the word "racism", especially current because of protests in various American cities against racism in the security forces after the death by suffocation of George Floyd, a black man, during his arrest at the hands of a white police officer. in Minneapolis.
However, a careful reading of the cover shows that it is not real. El País journalist Javier Salas, for example, has analyzed the cover in a Twitter thread and mentions some of the ingredients that make it suspicious.
This TIME cover is curling up too much.
I don't know, Rick, what do you say ...? pic.twitter.com/fa3tWyFIfO
Among these, it stands out that the cover does not have a date, that it does not appear in the online archive of covers of Time magazine itself or on its social networks, or that the same illustration (although without the letters of the magazine) has been circulating for several years in the social networks of its author, the Belgian cartoonist O. Sekoer, as read in the signature.
Of all the ingredients that point to the falsity of the cover, a search for the cartoonist's name is a good way to know that the illustration has never appeared on the cover of Time magazine . The person signing with that pseudonym is the Belgian artist Luc Descheemaeker. And a glance at his Facebook page allows us to find out who created that image in 2016 and that he has been circulating in various exhibitions for several years.
In his social media accounts, we also see that it is not the first or the only time that he has designed a false cover of Time magazine based on one of his illustrations. On September 23, 2019, he published on his Twitter account a false cover with the face of activist Greta Thunberg. And on May 29, 2020, he published on his Facebook account a cover with another of his Trump cartoons (although in this case his face is not seen, his recent statements appear superimposed).
The cover that mixes Trump and Hitler has also gone viral in France, and the newspaper Le Parisien has contacted Luc Descheemaeker, who has acknowledged being the author (he shared it on his Twitter account on May 17), but He has denied that his intention was to deceive social network users: "I have created an image. An image that looks like a magazine cover. It is surrealism, like the work This is not a pipe , by René Magritte. I have created an image about the gloomy and surreal days in the United States. I do not pretend that it is a cover, but I suggest an idea: What would happen if this image were a real image? ", concludes the author.
The application of a critical look, then, allows us to know that we are facing a false cover. The journalist Javier Salas remembers it in the last tweet of his thread: "This is a very crude example, but it serves to show some anti-fake resources. If something is very cool and you are asking for a retweet, you have to hesitate, because that is what that goes viral. "
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