Northampton

Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift photo 'doctored' in police tweet

Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift in edited tweet Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The tweet - now deleted - altered the tweet and photograph from a fan account. The original tweet on 4 July said actor Tom Hiddleston was in a "I ♥ TS" top

Police admitted they could be "in hot water" after editing a photograph of Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston to promote a counter-terrorism strategy.

A tweet by Northamptonshire Police claimed Hiddleston was wearing an "I love Prevent" t-shirt, endorsing the government scheme.

As reported in Middle East Eye (MEE), the photo had been altered and the tweet removed following complaints.

In a statement, police said tweets were deleted to "avoid being misconstrued".

The @NorPolPrevent Twitter account promotes Prevent, which is designed to protect individuals, including schoolchildren, against radicalism and extremism.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The @NorPolPrevent account has deleted the tweet

The tweet on 8 July looked like a retweet, but police had altered the text in the original and the accompanying photograph of the celebrity couple hugging in the sea.

It therefore appeared that @TSwiftNZ, a fan account, had tweeted on 4 July: "Tom is wearing an I ♥ Prevent top! #tomsaidnotobondbecausepreventdontspy".

It had actually tweeted "Tom and Taylor at the beach today! Tom is wearing a I ♥ TS top!"

Police gave a heavily-redacted response following a Freedom of Information request by MEE for email exchanges between staff.

"Did we photoshop this? And can it please be deleted ASAP," said a news producer, referring to a complaint about a tweet.

It added: "Photoshopping .... to suggest .... is irresponsible in the extreme."

Another added: "Probably just helpful to be mindful of editing pics of 'celebrities'.

"They spend a lot of money and carefully craft their public images, and associations with contentious topics can be concerning for them!

"Also from a copyright perspective, we can be treading in hot water!"

'Humorous manner'

It had also tweeted images of Chewbacca from Star Wars, Mr T from The A-Team, the original Ghostbusters line-up and Daniel Craig as James Bond to promote Prevent, all of which have been deleted.

Police said: "We can confirm that @NorPolPrevent use Twitter as a means to engage with local communities and this has, on occasion, included using images to portray messages in a non-confrontational or humorous manner.

"As part of our ongoing training of force social media users, we provide guidance on effective and appropriate use of social media and, on this occasion, some tweets were deleted by the users of the account to avoid anything being misconstrued."

The Prevent strategy has proved controversial, most recently in the wake of reports one of three east London teenage girls who fled to Syria had been killed.

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