There's never a dull moment on Twitter. The above photo of a billboard on the side of a road in Coimbatore, as a tribute ostensibly to Nelson Mandela, went viral today. Of course, the reason was simple to spot: it is Morgan Freeman whose face looms large, and not of Nelson Mandela.
The message in Tamil reads, "We should be proud that we were part of an era when they lived."
So much so that even international news agencies got into the act. The AFP quoted a cloth merchant Chandrashekhar—who, according to AFP, uses one name—who paid for the board in a private capacity as a mark of respect to the former South African leader, as saying that it was a mistake by the designer. AFP added reassuringly that Mr Chandrashekar has promised to replace the photo with the correct one of Mandela.
This is not the first such gaffe by any means, when it comes to Freeman and Mandela, though. As the International Business Time had reported on December 5, 2013:
"Morgan Freeman" started to trend on Thursday after the former South African leader died, partly because the Internet, always taking the opportunity to prove someone wrong, made sure everyone knew that pictures of Freeman were being wrongfully shared. Many people probably confused the actor Freeman for Mandela because he played the anti-apartheid champion in the 2009 film.
People are posting RIP photos of Morgan Freeman instead of Nelson Mandela in case you're wondering what kind of idiots are out there.— caprice crane (@capricecrane) December 5, 2013
Damn, RIP Nelson Mandela. That dude was like a god pic.twitter.com/GMVMIJB0T5— ARIZONA 11-0 (@JaeFromAZ) December 5, 2013
Wait Nelson Mandela died? I thought that was Morgan Freeman.— Noah Grimes (@NoahIsGrimes) December 6, 2013
RIP Morgan Freeman sorry I mean Nelson Mandela— Jacob Loehr (@brocaj) December 6, 2013
Another tweet did the rounds, as such things do on Twitter, in an exhibition of a jejune sense of humour:
Some people even assumed that the tweet had emanated from the real Morgan Freeman. The account @FreemanVerified was soon thereafter suspended by Twitter.