Iran's Tasnim News Agency blurred a woman volleyball player out of a photograph because she was in a bikini.
A series of Reuters photographs of a women’s volleyball game at the 2016 Olympic Games showed Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy participating in a hijab against Germany’s Kira Walkenhorst on the Copacabana Beach in Brazil.
Soon after that, a photo purporting to be from Iranian news agency Tasnim News appeared on Twitter, claiming that Iran had censored the photograph of the bikini-clad player:
حضور بانوی محجبه مصری در مسابقات والیبال ساحلی المپیک ریو 2016 مورد توجه رسانههای جهانی قرار گرفته است. pic.twitter.com/HE6Ok2QNTW
— پاندیت (@SexyPundit) August 8, 2016
The photograph went viral before someone pointed out that the originating Twitter account wasn’t from Tasnim News, but from a parody account named Tansim News, with the positions of the “n” and the “s” switched in the word (the Twitter account bore that name, but has now been switched to @SexyPundit).
Buzzfeed contacted the Twitter user behind the parody, who asked not to be identified:
“It did make a case for selective blindness, snap judgements and our instinctual response to news,” he said.
“We love to see news stories that confirm our worldview and strengthen our assumptions. That’s basically how stereotypes work.”
A lot of people in the West seem to believe that Muslims are morons and misogynists, he said.
“The photo told the story of a Muslim media outlet being moronically incompetent in misogyny. They loved it.”
The satirical photograph received some criticism:
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.