It was supposed to be a routine press photo call. And in many ways it was.
But when French news agency Agence France Presse made the decision to retract an unflattering photo of the country's President, Francois Hollande, it only made the problem worse, drawing more attention to the photo and setting the rumour mill into overdrive.
It began when photographer Dennis Charlet took a photograph of Hollande visiting the Michelet school in Denain, northern France.
The photo was published, but a few hours later the agency - which reportedly gets almost half of its income from government contracts - ordered a mandatory kill on the photograph, citing "editorial problems".
Suddenly Twitter and other French websites were awash with rumours the government had ordered the photo taken down.
As AFP's global news director Philippe Massonnet later wrote in a blog post, "Immediately, AFP was accused of censorship and of having tried to suppress the photo on the direct order of the presidential office."
AFP insisted the photo was removed due to an internal editorial decision, and Hollande's government was also forced to deny asking for the picture to be removed.
Mr Massonnet pointed out that the agency had "a rule not to transmit images that gratuitously ridicule people".
But by then the photo was the talk of the internet.
Slate.fr began holding a caption contest on the image ("When I'm happy I vomit" is currently the winner), while The Times of London said Hollande looked like a "village idiot."
Le Point said that the photo has achieved the "Streisand Effect" - referring to Barbara Streisand's counterproductive efforts to suppress photographs of her Malibu home in 2003.
In his blog post, Mr Massonnet did admit the decision to remove the photo, once published, was wrong.
"But the editorial decision to retract the photo – while it seemed sound at the time – created more problems than it solved. In trying to 'kill' the photo after it had already been transmitted, we actually drew more attention to it and fueled the suspicion that AFP had bowed to political pressure, thus causing some people to call into question the agency’s credibility," Massonnett writes.
"The order to kill the photo ironically breathed new life into this saga, and led to the image being massively shared across social networks in France, often accompanied by unkind comments about AFP."
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