Thursday, November 30, 2023

Electricity commission thanks workers for their efforts—with fake photos

The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has bungled an attempt to thank its employees for restoring power after a major outage last week by publishing a Facebook post that included photos of workers who are not employed by the state-owned company.

The utility published six photos to its official Facebook page on Saturday as part of a post to acknowledge the work of the “heroes” who restored power last week amid freezing conditions in the north of the country.

One of the images used, that of a man kitted out in a frost-covered uniform, was lifted from a Facebook post made by United States electricity company Evergy.

Two photographs showing workers repairing electricity lines as heavy snow fell previously appeared on the image sharing website Pinterest, the digital news outlet López-Dóriga Digital determined, while another similar image was taken from an advertisement for heavy-duty gloves.

The CFE erased its post after it was heavily criticized on social media and acknowledged later on Saturday that there had been an “error” in its selection of photos.

A photo used by the CFE was taken from a post by a US energy firm.
Photo used by the CFE that was taken from a post by a US energy firm.

In a new Facebook post, which featured four photos including an image of a worker standing in front of icicles at a CFE plant, the utility said that while it accepted it made a mistake it wouldn’t allow the “great effort” of its employees to go unrecognized.

CFE chief Manuel Bartlett and President López Obrador have both praised workers for reestablishing electricity supply after some 4.7 million people were left in the dark last Monday when an interruption to the natural gas supply due to freezing weather in the United States caused a blackout.

Bartlett said last Thursday that workers averted a “total disaster” in quickly reestablishing electricity generation, an achievement he described as a “a great feat.”

The posting of the fake images was the second example this year of the utility’s capacity for playing fast and loose with the truth. In December, the commission forged a document it used to back up its claim that a wildfire in Tamaulipas contributed to as massive power outage.

The CFE later admitted to the forgery but Bartlett dismissed the issue as a minor one.

Source: López-Dóriga Digital (sp) 

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