Fact Check: Fake Photo Of Rep. Matt Gaetz In Tigger, Spider-Man Costume Is Edited Old Image

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Fake Photo Of Rep. Matt Gaetz In Tigger, Spider-Man Costume Is Edited Old Image Altered Image

Does an image featuring the likeness of Rep. Matt Gaetz in a revealing Tigger and Spider-Man costume actually show Gaetz? No, that's not true: The image was edited to add Gaetz's face to another person's body. The original image has been online since at least 2008 and has been altered to feature the faces of other public figures in the past.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on May 1, 2024. The image included text that read:

I'm gonna need therapy after seeing this picture of Matt Gaetz.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

matt gaetz tigger spider-man FB post.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 2 ‏‎19:56:51 2024 UTC)

The page on Facebook where the post was featured is titled "The National Strategic Stockpile of Memes and Satire," which describes itself as "A liberal-minded group for sharing memes and satire that speaks truth to power, promotes social justice, and bashes the f*ck outta Benedict Donald Tr*mp and all in the extremist right" (archived here). However, while the post in question did contain a joke ("I'm gonna need therapy after seeing this picture"), it did not clarify that the picture is not a legitimate image of Gaetz, who is a Republican U.S. representative for a district in Florida (archived here).

Lead Stories performed a TinEye reverse image search of the image and found that it (sans Gaetz's face) has existed online since at least 2008 (archived here). The faces in the image often change, indicating that it is fodder for social media memes. Lead Stories previously debunked a claim that the person in the Tigger and Spider-Man costume was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to Gaetz can be found here.

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  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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