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Photo of Oz campaign poster reading ‘No’ is altered

August 28, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: A photo with celebrity heart surgeon and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz shows a woman holding his campaign poster on its side, which makes it look like the poster reads “No.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Altered photo. The original photo posted on Oz’s social media accounts shows the woman holding the sign right-side up.

THE FACTS: In the heated Senate race between Oz, a Republican, and Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, a Democrat, social media has been a constant battleground, with each candidate using memes and internet stunts to criticize his opponent.

An altered photo of Oz became the latest example in the trolling war when it circulated widely on Twitter over the weekend.

The photo circulating online shows Oz standing in a diner alongside a group of people who are wearing uniforms. The woman standing in the middle of the group appears to be holding an Oz campaign poster on its side, making the poster read, “No” instead of “Oz.”

One Twitter user shared the photo with the caption: “Trolls in the land of Oz. Hey, @DrOz - You’re not in Jersey anymore. @JohnFetterman for PA”

“Dr. Oz gets trolled everywhere he goes and it makes me so happy,” read another tweet, which amassed over 22,000 likes.

However, the widely shared photo has been altered. The original photo, posted on Oz’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts on Aug. 12, shows the woman holding the sign in the correct direction. The photo was taken at Capitol Diner in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Katya Rodriquez, who works at Capitol Diner and was holding the sign that day, told The Associated Press that she was holding it correctly and was surprised that the altered photo was widely trending.

Rachel Tripp, Oz’s senior communications advisor, told the AP that she captured the photo in the diner and that in the original photo, the sign was right-side up.

This isn’t the only altered image to show up during this race. The AP previously debunked an image of Oz on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that was altered to show the candidate kissing former President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.