'A 1916 Propaganda Map Created by the Allies During World War I'

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A purported "propaganda map" from 1916 made its way from Twitter to Imgur in April 2021.
Claim An image depicts a "1916 propaganda map created by the Allies during World War I."

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AdvertisementsOn April 6 2021, an Imgur user shared a screenshot of an undated tweet that purportedly depicted a "propaganda map" created by the Allied powers during the first World War:

A 1916 propaganda map created by the Allies during World War I. pic.twitter.com/MULEzHqaoF — Ninja Economics (@NinjaEconomics) April 6, 2021

Although the date was not visible on Imgur, the tweet (originally from the @NinjaEconomics account) was published on the same day as the Imgur post — April 6 2021. Neither post included any information about the specific source, context, or authenticity of the map.

On the map, Canada was labeled "Barbarians." Most of the United States was labeled "New Prussia," with California and the Pacific Northwest labeled "Japonica," and a small southwestern area described as "American reservation."

A reverse image search indicated that the map (which was less cropped in many versions) had appeared at least twice before on Reddit. One variation was shared to r/MapPorn in October 2018, where its title alluded to a possible source for the unusual map:

Although the Twitter and Imgur posts in 2021 were cropped, the Reddit post above displayed additional information. The publication appeared to be Life magazine, and text in the top right corner read:

PRICE 10 CENTS Vol. 67, No. 1737.

February 10, 1916 Copyright 1916, Life Publishing Company

In May 2020, the image cropped up again on r/interestingasfuck, once again with a titular source for the map, matching the source in the first Reddit post, a February 1916 issue of Life magazine:

A search for "Vol. 67, No. 1737. February 10, 1916" led to a Cornell University Library Digital Collection entry, "My Country ,Tis of Thee – New Prussia." The image was filed under three categories: "World War I," "Politics & Government," and "Satirical," and a source was provided as "Life Magazine, v.67,…
Kim LaCapria
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