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The truly insane tale of a US politician’s Internet nightmare, and the kinky folks who saved it

A naked image claiming to be of US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was debunked by a Reddit user with a foot fetish.

Has there ever been a sentence that sums up the internet age more succinctly?

Last week, an anonymous user posted a POV shot of a woman’s feet in a bathtub to Reddit’s r/Drama forum. The woman in the bath was relaxing with some candles and her trusty vape pen.

Usually, such a photo wouldn’t draw a second look, except emblazed across the bottom of the image was text claiming that it was of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a rising star in the US Democratic Party.

Steamy bath shots may be the norm for your creepy Aunty that follows you on Instagram, but it’s rarely good news for a politician.

While it was the Reddit post that turned the image viral, it has been doing the rounds on the internet since December. It was posted to Twitter, 4chan and several other forums dedicated to revenge porn.

If you’re wondering why a picture of feet in a bath is drawing so much attention, it’s because if you zoom in, you can see the photographer’s breasts in the tap’s reflection.

And if you’re to believe the text, that means you are catching a glimpse of Ocasio-Cortez’s boobs.

Except, thanks to the unlikeliest of sleuths, it turns out that the person in the photo isn’t her at all.

The discovery was made thanks to a user on Wikifeet, a fetish site dedicated to archiving, rating and comparing celebrity feet.

The user cross-referenced the bath photo to known images of Ocasio-Cortez’s feet and determined that it was clearly a different person.

“I’m a contributor to wikifeet and even I have never seen a second toe like that,” Reddit user jokes_on_you wrote. The user explained to Motherboard how they spotted the difference.

“I’ve sucked enough toes in my life to recognize when something doesn’t look right,” they said. “Because we can’t dorsi- or plantarflex our 2nd-5th toes independently I knew it wasn’t a matter of the toe being bent.”

“I thought that maybe she has some form of brachydactyly but her Wikifeet page has clear evidence to the contrary. So it was clear to me that it wasn’t her feet.”

That is, er, a…lot of foot-related knowledge. So who did the purple-painted toes and vape pen belong to?

It turns out that the feet and photo are from Sydney Leathers, a cam girl who likes to refer to herself as a political activist.

This isn’t the first time she’s gotten a politician in trouble – she was part of New York politician Anthony Weiner’s 2016 sexting scandal.

“This is a photo I took several years ago and have since deleted from my Instagram, because I now have a no feet for free rule,” Leathers wrote for Washington Babylon.

“Too many foot fetishists out there and I don’t want to give them free content.”

Everything worked out well in the end thanks to your friendly, neighbourhood foot fetishist.

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