Image of Canadian Sikh man photoshopped to look like terrorist linked to Paris attacks
A Sikh man from Canada found himself at the center of unwanted attention after a bathroom selfie he took was doctored to make him look like one of the suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacks and then spread in the media.
The digitally altered image of Veerender Jubbal showed him wearing what looked like a suicide vest and holding a Quran. It appeared on the front-page of one of Spain’s largest newspapers, La Razon.
@Veeren_Jubbal Hi, you have appeared in the cover of a major Spanish newspaper as a terrorist. pic.twitter.com/Mbwcgj1TlG— Jordi Rico (@JordiRico) November 15, 2015
It was subsequently picked up by two Italian newspapers and an Italian TV channel with nearly 2 million followers.
L'#Isis ha inviato una foto dei presunti #kamikaze. https://t.co/cDqTVlDB0vpic.twitter.com/MEArKimoSb— Sky TG24 (@SkyTG24) November 14, 2015
“One of the terrorists may have entered Greece along with Syrian refugees. The unidentified attackers were between 15 and 18 years and acted in three teams,” read the text by the image of Jubbal. La Razon apologized on Sunday afternoon.
The original image of Jubbal is an innocent bathroom selfie made with an iPad.
People are editing, and photoshopping my selfies as if I am one of the people causing the issues/problems in Paris.— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 14, 2015
In an attempt to remedy the damage caused by the doctored image, Jubbal launched an online campaign to clear his name.
“This whole thing puts me in a bad position in the sense, where I could be harmed and/or hurt due to this. This is libel from news, and TV,” Jubbal tweeted.
You can all check the last retweets. Let us start with basics. Never been to Paris. Am a Sikh dude with a turban. Lives in Canada.— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 14, 2015
Although it is still unclear who edited Jubbal’s photo or why, there are reports suggesting a link to the Gamergate movement that Jubbal has heavily criticized in the past.
The Gamergate controversy dates back to August 2014 and concerns issues of sexism and misogyny in video game culture. It has provoked a long-running debate marked with abuse and accusations from both sides.
The Canadian has by now received dozens of messages of support on Twitter condemning the bullies who photoshopped his photo and spread it online.
Portraying @Veeren_Jubbal as a terrorist puts his life at risk, ruins his reputation. This is online terrorism. pic.twitter.com/U5bJYCnIsC— Amy (@AmyStephen) November 15, 2015
I just heard about what happened to @veeren_jubbal ... What "journalists" did to you is shameful. As a journalist, I'm sorry.— Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist) November 15, 2015
There should be legal ramifications if they can trace the person that photoshopped @Veeren_Jubbal as a terrorist and sent it around.— Dillon Rogers (@Jollyrogers99) November 15, 2015