Fact Check

Was Dr. Oz Trolled With Sideways 'NO' Campaign Sign?

Conveniently for pranksters, the name "OZ" turned sideways looks like "NO."

Published Aug 29, 2022

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 18: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz holds a rally in the Tunkhanock Triton Hose Co fire station in  Tunkhanock, Pa., on Thursday, August 18, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Image Via Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Claim:
A photo taken during a campaign stop authentically shows Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz being trolled by a bystander holding an "OZ" sign sideways so that it reads "NO."

Fact Check

A viral photograph making the social media rounds in August 2022 purported to show Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz standing next to someone holding a sign for his campaign sideways, so that when read vertically, it said "NO." Under the pretense of the viral image, the person holding the sign — a member of the waitstaff at a restaurant in central Pennsylvania — was pranking the wannabe-politician without him knowing.

However, the photograph had been digitally altered and was itself a hoax.

Here's the viral image:

Dr. Oz 'NO' Sign

This didn't really happen. As can be seen in the original, unmanipulated version of the photograph posted to Twitter (and elsewhere) by Oz himself on Aug. 12, the person was holding the sign properly (i.e., horizontally), so that it read "OZ":

Though the manipulated version may appear authentic at first glance, a closer look reveals vestiges of hasty alteration — most notably, the absence of the sign-holder's fingers. The person, or group, responsible for the digital editing was unknown.

Dr. Oz

According to local news coverage, the campaign event took place at the Capitol Diner in Swatara Township, near Harrisburg, on Aug. 12.

Sources

Gleiter, Sue. “Dr. Mehmet Oz Makes Campaign Stop at Central Pa. Diner.” Pennlive, 12 Aug. 2022, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2022/08/dr-mehmet-oz-makes-campaign-stop-at-central-pa-diner.html.

David Emery is a Portland-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.

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