See the ultra-goofy François Hollande photo that provoked web glee, unsuccessful attempts at suppression

By on September 6, 2013
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An unflattering picture of French president François Hollande has provoked an internet storm in France after being leaked and shared on Twitter.

In the image — which the main French news agency AFP attempted to withdraw from circulation — the French president grins in front of a blackboard on which is written: “Today, it’s back to school.”

The photograph was taken on Tuesday during Mr. Hollande’s visit to a school in Denain, northern France, to coincide with the start of term for hundreds of thousands of French pupils. It appears he was pulling a funny face to make the pupils laugh.

The original image came with the caption: “During a visit to the school Denain Michelet, September 3, 2013, Francois Hollande smiles, chairing a panel discussion on the reform of school timetables established by the government.”

AFP initially posted the picture on its website as available for downloading but later issued a “mandatory kill” notice, meaning the photo must not be used.

Despite the ban, the image quickly hit social media sites and provoked a flurry of comments. One wrote: “Here is the new official photo of Francois Hollande. Please put up in all town halls!”

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