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Why People Fell For This Ridiculous Hoax About Trump’s Hands

He’s got the whole world in his hands

Some stories are just too good to be true. And this one qualifies, hands down.

It sounds crazy, right? Why would the federal government spend a moment of its crucial time and resources to photoshop the hands of the most powerful man the world? Remember folks, President Trump is a man who bragged about the size of his penis in relation to his hands during a presidential debate.

And that’s why one journalist noticed what she claimed was an altered image of Trump from inauguration day – with the official photo on display in the White House changed to make it appear that Trump’s hand is larger than the official photo released by the Getty news agency:

Dana Schwartz’s tweet (since deleted) immediately went viral, with other journalists and photo experts lending their analysis to the competing images to see if they were, in fact, altered.

Unfortunately, many in the actual, professional media, were all to eager to eat it up. Though we can’t entirely blame them for wanting to believe.

Joanquin Baldwin, a feature animator for Disney even chimed in, laying the images over each other in sequence and writing, However, he says the image was “warped,” which led to the distortion. Though he reserved judgment, saying it’s unclear who warped the image and if it was intentional:

And yes, let’s pause to remember we’re debating whether the leader of the free world is so insecure that he ordered his staff to alter an image of his hand. And whether true or not, the scenario is plausible enough that credible journalists, analysts and trained, professional visual artists are taking time out of their days to get to the bottom of this story.

Because if you’re asking yourself whether this trivial item is worth anyone’s time, including the time we’ve spent writing about it and you’ve spent reading it, it’s worth noting that it escalated to the point where Washington Post reporter Philip Bump joined the discussion, saying the image appears to have been taken from a television feed, which created the distortion. As Bump points out, no one, including Schwartz, has actually shown the allegedly altered image hanging in the White House:

So, yes, it’s time to take a deep breath. Donald Trump is not ordering the White House to photoshop pictures to counter rumors about the size of his penis.

Schwartz herself apologized for being “gullible” and not applying basic journalistic standards to the tweet. But that didn’t stop a number of people from piling on, pointing out that in the age of fake news, you can’t just spread a falsehood and then shrug your shoulders later about it being a “joke.”

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