India's government likely hoped that sharing a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the site of intense flooding in Chennai would comfort victims. Instead it led to widespread mockery since it was obvious that the image was doctored. "We are all pained by the devastation in [Tamil Nadu]," Modi tweeted on Thursday, alongside a photo of him looking out an airplane window at distant flooded fields during an aerial survey. Then later, the government's Press Information Bureau shared a similar photo of Modi surveying the damage but with a clear view of flooded buildings pasted onto the window, reports Time. The former photo was legitimate, the latter, not so much.
Though the PIB photo was quickly deleted, Twitter has exploded with mock tweets, including one photo showing Modi starring out at the view of Earth from the moon. "PM was doing aerial survey. Why on earth would PIB wish to Photoshop the pic of PM doing aerial survey? Sheer stupidity," writes one user. Most tweets were in jest, but a few argued the edited photo was inappropriate given that 260 people have died as a result of flooding since the start of November, per the BBC. In a statement, per the Wall Street Journal, the PIB says it "regrets" the edit, which was "due to an error of judgement."