Robert Kennedy Jr Attacked For Using Campaign Photo From Russia

( β€” In a now-deleted tweet, Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy promoted his campaign merchandise by using a picture that some Twitter users claimed was taken in Russia, prompting Newsweek to fact-check the claim.

In the photo, a model appears on a street wearing a “Kennedy 2024” hooded sweatshirt. In his tweet, the Democrat candidate urged supporters to purchase his merchandise to help him “fight for our families and a brighter future.”

But some on Twitter noticed that the signs on the street were in Cyrillic.

Writer Noah Smith tweeted a screen capture of Kennedy’s tweet, asking if RFK Jr. was using a picture of a Russian woman to say, “Let’s unite America.”

According to a Twitter thread from cybersecurity researcher John Scott-Railton from Citizen Lab, the signs in the photo are definitely in Cyrillic but the picture itself appears to be a mock-up used by online stores to illustrate stock. The mock-up photo is offered by the media company Dikarte and has been used by other online stores worldwide.

In other words, it’s a retouched stock photo.

So, no. Kennedy didn’t go to Russia to photograph a Russian woman wearing his campaign hoodie. Instead, his campaign availed itself of a stock photo and retouched it to show the model in one of his hoodies.

After the Russian stock photo caught the eye of John Scott-Railton, Kennedy deleted the tweet, and a new tweet promoting his campaign merchandise was posted. But according to Scott-Railton’s thread, the new tweet featured a retouched stock photo taken in Brazil.

Newsweek ruled its fact-check as “Needs context,” saying while the photo appeared to be taken in Russia, Newsweek could find no evidence that the choice of photo was done deliberately on the part of the Kennedy campaign. Instead, it was probably just an oversight.

This is the problem with a presidential campaign relying on stock photos.

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