A stock image of a pad thai meal has been shared thousands of times in social media posts and online articles in Thailand that misleadingly claim it shows cover art for US pop megastar Taylor Swift's new single "Lover". In reality, the image was taken from an auto-generated video on the artist's YouTube channel and does not show genuine cover art for the song.
"The social media world is perplexed when the new single "Lover" from world-renowned US artist Taylor Swift was published on November 3, featuring the pad thai image," reads the misleading Thai-language caption of a Facebook post published on November 19, 2022.
The post -- which has been shared more than 2,300 times -- also incorrectly suggests Swift released "Lover" this year, when in fact it was released in August 2019.
Pad thai is a popular Thai dish made with stir-fried rice noodles, eggs, tofu, and meat.
Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on November 21, 2022.
The text superimposed on the image reads: ""Thai soft power" rocks the world Taylor Swift features "Pad Thai" as her new single's cover".
The post continues: "Many people had to rub their eyes and check whether this was really Taylor Swift's channel. Turns out it really is her channel with more than 50 million subscribers, which now begs the question; "why?" Or is it that she really likes pad thai to feature it on her single's artwork?"
Comments on the misleading Facebook post suggested some people genuinely believed the popular Thai cuisine was used as the cover art for Swift's single.
"Pad thai is already well known, but now it has become even more popular, thank you, Taylor," reads a user comment written in Thai.
Another user said: "Happy and proud to see this. Let's help each other, I think (Thailand) has found the right path."
However, the claim is misleading.
A reverse image search, followed by a keyword search on Google, found the same pad thai artwork published here on Shutterstock.com, a website for royalty-free images and artwork.
Screenshot of the stock artwork on Shutterstock.com, captured on November 22, 2022
An archived version of the YouTube URL on the Wayback Machine shows an earlier version of the link. The three-minute video is titled "Lover".
The artwork was displayed on the artist's YouTube video as part of an auto-generated image.
Auto-generated videos on YouTube featuring songs from an artist’s music album are called an "Art Track", according to an explanation on YouTube’s Help Center page.
Art Tracks are "automatically generated" versions of an artist's song from their music album on YouTube, consisting of the song's audio and generated album art.
Her album of the same name was announced for release on her official Instagram account on June 14, 2019, before it was eventually released in August of that year.