French President Emmanuel Macron's recent visit to French Polynesia has turned into a meme-fest, thanks to a viral photograph of him covered in wreaths or "leis" from neck to knee. The viral photo has been shared by many verified accounts on Twitter, claiming that Macron was turned into a human wreath.
The French Polynesia President greeted Macron in Tahiti on Sunday with an orero, a traditional declaration by a respected storyteller. Macron's focus upon visit to Polynesia was climate change, China's growing assertiveness in the Pacific region, and the legacy of French nuclear tests. But the viral photograph took the social media storm.
Many Twitter users, including some verified accounts, shared photographs and videos of Macron covered in flowery wreaths from neck to knee. This prompted a flurry of memes and jokes on social media. Each of the tweets from verified accounts have been shared thousands of times, expanding its visibility.
In one particular video, Macron can be seen covered in wreaths, which mostly led many to believe that the viral photo was in fact true.
International Business Times reviewed the photos as well as the video of Macron covered in wreaths. A simple Google search for Macron's Polynesia visit brings up various images and articles, none of which show the viral photo. So we dug deeper.
Upon close inspection of the viral photo of Macron covered in wreaths, it gets clear that garlands around his neck and different from the ones further down Macron's body, clearly indicating that they have been photoshopped into the original image.
Moreover, many users called out the fake photograph with links to the original image from reliable published sources.
As for the video, the doctored image of Macron has been fused into the original image, leading many to believe it is true, but it is not. The original video is embedded below for your reference:
IBTimes, after reviewing the claims and facts, arrived at the conclusion that the viral photo of Macron making the rounds on social media is doctored.