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Fact Check-Digitally altered image of Italy’s Giorgia Meloni wearing a Freemason pendant

An image purporting to show Italy’s Nationalist leader Giorgia Meloni appearing to wear a Freemason symbol on a necklace is digitally altered.

The image shows a young Meloni wearing a black jacket, with a pendant necklace featuring a Freemason symbol digitally added to the photograph.

Examples of the altered image can be found (here), (here), (here) and (here).

A reverse image search reveals the authentic photograph published by the Italian outlet Corriere della Sera in February 2016 in a slideshow among other images of political figures (slide 11/79) (here).

The author of the article credits a Reddit thread for surfacing the image of Meloni (here) while the thread links to an archived webpage dating to 2002 titled ‘Geocities’ featuring Meloni’s image and bio (here).

Meloni’s necklace does not include the Freemason symbol in these early photographs.

The digitally altered image is the latest claim made by conspiracy theorists in an attempt to connect political leaders to secretive organizations such as the Freemasons or the Illuminati. Reuters has previously addressed similar claims and fabricated content linking political leaders with the Illuminati (here), (here).

Conspiracy theorists commonly attempt to link political leaders to secretive societies to prove the existence of “the New World Order,” a conspiracy theory that elites are secretly coordinating to run the globe to their advantage (here)

VERDICT

Altered. The original image of Meloni was published by Italian outlet Corriere della Sera in 2016, where no such pendant is seen on Meloni’s necklace.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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