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No, Time magazine didn’t include Kenyan president William Ruto as one of ‘The 50 Most Influential People in the World’ – cover is fake

IN SHORT: Every year US news magazine Time publishes a list of the 100 most influential people in the world. They didn’t change their list to 50 in 2023, and they didn’t include Kenyan president William Ruto.

On 14 April 2023 an image of what appears to be the cover of the US news magazine Time was shared on Facebook, with the headline “The 50 Most Influential People in The World”.

The cover shows a photo of Kenyan president William Ruto. There is no date on the cover.

The image is captioned: “New York based TIME Magazine has just listed Kenya's President Dr. Williams Ruto among the 50 most influential persons in the WORLD, describing him as ‘the Architect of Kenyan Democracy!’”

The image has been shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But did Time magazine publish a cover featuring Ruto, including him among the 50 most influential people in the world? We checked.


Clues Ruto cover is fake

Ruto, Kenya’s former deputy president, won the August 2022 general election and was sworn in as president on 13 September 2022.

On 13 April 2023, Time magazine published Time 100, a list of 100 people the magazine considers the “most influential” in 2023.

So here’s the first clue – Time’s famous list, published every year since 1999, is of 100, not 50, influential people. This makes it unlikely that the cover claiming Ruto is “among the 50 most influential persons” is genuine. 

According to a guide posted on the magazine’s website there are a number of other ways you can tell whether a Time cover is fake.

“Most knockoffs also don’t include the thin white border that separates the red from the image,” says the guide. The image of Ruto circulating social media does not include this thin white border and therefore appears to be fake.

Yet another red flag is that the cover of Ruto is not included in the Time vault of 2023 covers. Every Time cover is displayed here, since the very first issue of the magazine from March 1923.

Time magazine has not featured Ruto on its cover and did not list the president as one of the 50 most influential people in the world. The cover is fake.

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