Old photo resurfaces in misleading posts about flooding in Thailand

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An image has been shared tens of thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook alongside a claim it shows flooding in Thailand's capital Bangkok in September 2021. However, the image has been shared in a misleading context. It has circulated online in posts about flooding in Thailand since 2011.

The image was shared in this Twitter post on September 10, 2021. It has been shared more than 21,500 times since.

The Thai-language caption to the image reads: "In Bangkok, Thonburi side (Bangkae), many people criticised the gardener for cutting the grass in a boat shape.

"Today this image says it all, floods reached the boat level. Many people took a photo of this scene."

The image appears to show plants on a flooded road that had been trimmed in the shape of a boat.

Screenshot of the misleading post, captured on September 14

The post circulated online as monsoon rains caused flooding in several provinces in Thailand in September 2021, according to this report.

Comments on the post indicate people were misled and believed the image shows recent flooding in the country.

One user said: "I haven’t passed over there for a while, it’s beautiful".

Another wrote: "Just Covid-19 I barely have anything left, then there is flooding I would die."

The same image was shared here and here on Twitter and here and here on Facebook alongside a similar claim.

However, the image has been shared in a misleading context. It has circulated online since 2011.

A reverse image search on Google found the same image published in an article on Thai lifestyle website Kapook on November 9, 2011.

The article's headline reads: "Thai people can always laugh anytime, let’s take a look at funny photos during flooding".

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading posts (L) and the image on Kapook’s website (R):

Screenshot comparison

The same image has been shared on various Thai websites in 2011, including here and here.

In October 2011, the Thai capital Bangkok and 20 other provinces were affected by flooding that forced authorities to a "crisis mode", AFP reported.

Using visual clues in the photo, AFP was able to geo-locate where the image was taken in Bang Phlat district in western Bangkok.

The boat-shape plants are visible on Google Street View below.