GamerGate critic’s selfie photoshopped and spread as alleged Paris attacker

Jubbal

November 13th was a dark day for the world, but Canadian geek Veerender Jubbal could not have anticipated how personal the event would become the next day. An edited photo depicting Jubbal in what appeared to be a suicide-bomb vest and holding a Quran was spread worldwide after being initially sent out by Twitter user @abualut8 with a caption “BREAKING, one Islamic State attacker in #ParisAttacks was a Sikh convert to Islam,” according to India Today. While the Tweet was subsequently deleted, the damage was done.

Jubbal’s photo was passed around social media and although there were numerous efforts to debunk the obviously falsified photo it did not prevent its spread. Spanish paper La Razon, for example, published the image of Jubbal’s face on their front page above the caption “one of the terrorists.” There have also been reports that the image has been aired on television. It highlights the concerns many have expressed over news agencies jumping the gun with shoddy information in an effort to scoop their competitors, and it’s amazing that nobody ever stopped to ask how a mirror selfie was taken with a book.

Online discussion was quick to implicate GamerGate supporters for the action since Jubbal is credited with creating the #StopGamerGate2014 hashtag during the height of the controversy. It remains unclear whether or not Jubbal was singled out to be a target and the @abualut8 Twitter account has since disappeared. However, public opinion certainly seems to be that the accusations of terrorism against Jubbal were retribution for speaking out against GamerGate. The addition of an adult toy in the background of the photoshopped image definitely makes it seem as though it was intended as a cruel and vicious “prank.” If so, it’s hard to see who is laughing.

Jubbal has been receiving many words of support on Twitter since the source of the image was clarified and had indicated that he is considering legal action against news organizations that spread the fake picture. However, due to the anonymous nature of the internet it is unlikely that the original creator of the image will be penalized. One can only hope that news of the photo’s dishonesty will spread even further than the original false reports ever did.

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