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Rihanna Did Not Pose Holding a Pakistani Flag, Fake Photo Goes Viral on Social Media

Rihanna. Photo: Facebook

Rihanna. Photo: Facebook

An image purportedly showing pop star Rihanna holding the national flag of Pakistan has circulated online in social media posts.

An image purportedly showing Rihanna holding the national flag of Pakistan has circulated online in social media posts after the pop star tweeted her support for protesting farmers in India.

But the image, which was shared tens of thousands of times, has been doctored: the original photo actually shows Rihanna holding a West Indies flag at a cricket match in 2019.

The doctored image was published in this Facebook post on February 3, 2021. It has been shared hundreds of times.

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In fact, when you click to view the post, you're shown a disclaimer by Facebook saying that the photo has been altered and that it has been verified as fake by independent fact-checkers.

The post’s Hindi-language caption translates to English as: “Rihanna is the new godmother of the anti-government group. Now you can understand who she really is.”

Rihanna, who has more than 100 million Twitter followers, posted a tweet on February 2, 2021, with a link to a CNN story about the ongoing Indian farmers' protests against new agricultural laws. Her tweet has catapulted the ongoing farmers' agitation in India to a global spotlight.

However, this claim is false: the image has been doctored to include the Pakistan national flag.

A reverse image search on Google by AFP Factcheck found the original photo was published here on the official Twitter account of The International Cricket Council (ICC) on July 1, 2019. Rihanna is holding a flag with the official logo of the West Indies cricket.

“Look who's at #SLvWI to Rally 'round the West Indies! Watch out for @rihanna's new single, Shut Up And Cover Drive,” reads the tweet.

Rihanna also posted a photo of her on Instagram on July 2, 2019 wearing a cap knitted with West Indies cricket crest.

The West Indies played Sri Lanka on July 1, 2019, in the English market town of Chester-le-Street during the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

(With inputs from AFP)