There have been checks on some photos that made their way onto the internet at the time Serwaa Broni alleged that she has been harrassed by the President of Ghana in Canada.
A photo of a half-naked man and woman in a room has been trending on social media. The man in the viral photo is claimed to be President Nana Akufo-Addo. The pages and handles that shared the photos also suggested that the woman is a lady named Evelyn Serwaa Broni, who has been rumored to have had an affair with the president.
The photo has been widely shared on WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook and has garnered a lot of comments on these platforms.
Fact-Check Ghana has verified the photo through critical analysis of the various parts of the viral image and through the assistance of photo forensics software and concludes that the photo has been manipulated in many parts.
To clone is to create a copy. In the photoshop technique, cloning involves the duplication of part of an image to create uniform patterns in a photo or to remove blemishes in a photo. In many cases, especially when not done well, cloning leaves traces in a manipulated photo.
In the said photo, the background is presented as a uniform off-white wall but the right upper part of the wall (stretching from the right of the artwork hanging on the wall) shows a different color pattern. A thin irregular ray at the top-right shows a white color. The traces of the irregular ray of white color exposes it from being an intentional design but an error that cannot appear in an original photo.
The varying, irregular color pattern is further repeated on the bottom right corner of the photo, around the right arm of the lady. This time, the off-white color is mixed with another patch of color similar to the color at the back of the lady.
Also, there are traces of different colors at certain portions of the wall in the room. These can be seen in the space between the man and the woman, and the extreme right part of the wall. The different colors do not appear to be natural or original but one created by cloning errors.
When a photo is modified, it can cause distortion. The distortion often takes the form of pixelation or imperfect coloring. This is a good indicator that a photo has been altered or manipulated.
It appears the editor or creator of the photo wants to present the lady in the photo as Evelyn Serwaa Broni. Photos of the lady on social media prove that she has tattoos on her back.
One of the tattoos is located at the mid-upper part of her back and looks like a cross pendant. There’s another tattoo on the right, which is indiscernible to Fact-Check Ghana. It appears the cross-like tattoo at the back of the lady in the viral photo has been fixed there making the photo pixelated.
Also, it appears the editor attempted to fix another photo on the right part of the back (closer to the arm) to represent another tattoo but there wasn’t enough space leaving the portion pixelated. As a result, the edges of the right shoulder of the lady are jagged instead of blending in with the background of the photo as seen on the left shoulder.
Akufo-Addo is noted to wear his wedding band in almost all public appearances. In the viral photo, the image that’s presented as the president appears to have the wedding band on but the part of the photo is very pixelated. The pixelation can also be seen in the area beneath the chin and around the neck. These suggest that parts of the photo have been modified.
Objects within one frame of a photo will often have the same amount of light, especially when they are very close like the man and woman in the viral photo. However, a closer look at the photo suggests that the light surrounding that man is slightly different from what is in the room.
The light around the man is slightly dimmer than what appears to be the off-white color of the room. Again, the light surrounding the man in the photo appears rectangularly shaped. This indicates that the photo of the man may have been cut out from somewhere and fixed in the photo to create the impression that both the man and woman were in the same room together.
Forensics by Fake News Detector by InVid WeVerify
Fact-Check Ghana also ran the viral photo in the Fake News Detector software by technology company InVID-WeVerify. According to the Poynter Institute, headquarters of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), the InVID-WeVerify verification plugin “is one of the most powerful tools for spotting misinformation online“. The software helps generate forensics and data on photos and videos. It analyses them to highlight distortions, forgery, and manipulations.
The Fake News Detector found many such distortions in the photo that supports the aforementioned manipulations.
The team checked for compression of the photo and cloning on the software. Under compression, the software highlighted distortions in the ghost and grid (CAGI) of the viral photo. On cloning, the software identified a copy-move forgery detection (CMFD) issue.
Source: The Fourth Estate