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Spotted via https://twitter.com/LI_politico/status/692846941034549248 (courtesy of a parody picture in https://twitter.com/Megapope/status/692850205297741827), but described as real by Mother Jones in The Enemy in Your Pants: The military’s decades-long war against STDs.:

Image text, plus capation, described below

Syphilis

All of these men have it

Women: Stay away from dance halls

An English poster used in the lead-up to D-Day with a different take on the dangers of syphilis. This time, it's the gents who are the diseased floozies. British, 1944

Is the above picture a British WWII propaganda poster from 1944?

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5  
If you examine it closely you can see pretty obvious signs of photoshopping a compressed image. The typography is also a bit off (notice the upper and lower margins, also the font is clearly computer rendered and, lastly, I'm not sure exactly how popular this font would have been in 1940-something) – Tobia Tesan Jan 29 at 9:12
    
This is an interesting read that lists a few ways to tell modern digital typography from actual 1900something typography (or, more frequently, hand-lettering): annyas.com/artist-movie-typography-lettering – Tobia Tesan Jan 30 at 12:28
up vote 40 down vote accepted

A google search for "All of these men have it" "Stay away from dance halls" mainly got web 2.0 user generated content websites such as reddit and pinterest. I came across a thesis, but it gave a different year, saying that it was 1942.

By contrast, doing a search on the image gave a New Hampshire government website, with the following poster, by Montgomery Melbourne in 1943:

Poster

Millions of troops are on the move…

Is YOUR trip necessary?

OFFICE OF DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION

Another page with this poster is the University of North Texas Digital Library which specifies that the Office of Defense Transportation was US, not British (it was an executive agency).

Montgomery Melbourne's name can be seen in the original in the bottom left hand corner of the picture - the same writing can be seen in the "Syphilis" version, although not legible.

In summary, there exists a poster with the same image, but a different message, by the government of another country, from a different year. It's possible that an image was re-used for the syphilis warning, but there's no reason to believe that's the case.

I have to admit it's a fairly good hoax: it talks about a disease which is not commonly talked about nowadays, and a form of socialising that isn't popular nowadays.

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14  
I'd like to point out that the obvious giveaway that is isn't British is the spelling of 'defense'. The correct British spelling is 'defence'. – Pharap Jan 29 at 13:12
9  
@Pharap I must be bilingual - I understand British and American English. :) However, only the genuine poster mentions the word "defense" - the fake version doesn't use the word. – Andrew Grimm Jan 29 at 13:43
1  
Can somebody who knows about period military uniforms identify the nationality of the soldiers depicted here? That might be another useful clue. – Darrel Hoffman Jan 29 at 14:14
12  
I think it's a bad hoax. It disparages the troops, which was quite taboo at the time. That alone makes me doubt it's real. It also is overtly sexual. That was taboo too. – fredsbend Jan 29 at 15:39
2  
@O.M.Y Page 75 in the thesis the author conceded there's limitations of this research because it looks at only one archive. It then mentions a few more for possible study. I personally wouldn't write a thesis with basically only one source, but that's me I guess. – fredsbend Jan 30 at 16:09

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