Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Saudi Arabia on Sunday, making international headlines for her appearance without a headscarf ... despite the fact that she wasn't the first

But, someone then decided to play on the news by circulating a 'screenshot' censored image of Merkel's hair with a pixellated overhead ... claiming it was taken during a Saudi TV news airing.  

Tweep Sarah Abdallah, who describes herself as a Lebanese geopolitical commentator, shared the image on Thursday with a caption that read: 

"Not a joke."

Publications spread the news soon after, claiming it was true.  

But, it was actually all one big hoax

Where did the photo originate from?

Facebook page "Khase News" first shared the image with a caption that read: "just for fun."

After the image began going viral, they clarified that the page is a "satirical" one and the post was intended to be ironic. 

A spokesperson for the Facebook page told British news outlet iNews that the photo was meant to be a political statement. 

"The photo is criticizing the fact that in Saudi it is forbidden for a woman to show her hair. Yet when a powerful like Merkel comes, [the regime] does nothing about it," the spokesperson said. 

This is the original photo ...

Source: Facebook

This is the actual airing from a Saudi channel, Al Ekhbariya

Merkel's visit to the kingdom was her first since 2010. During the visit on Sunday, Merkel said that there have been "significant changes in the role of women," since then, according to Arab News. 

"I have the impression that the country is in a phase of change and that a lot more is possible now than some years ago," she added.

During the visit, Merkel and King Salman discussed and agreed to a proposal to set up a $200 million fund for the empowerment of women.  

This would happen within the framework of the G20 Summit, an annual international forum for the governments and bank governors of 20 economic powers.