On her feet: a wikiFeet user pointed out the woman in the picture had shorter toes than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The site where users rate celebrity feet proved a photo apparently showing the congresswoman in a bath was fabricated – using toe length as evidence

Name: wikiFeet.

Age: 11.

Appearance: The most extensive online photo gallery of women’s feet on the internet.

Oh. Gross. Now, now, don’t be like that. Studies reveal foot fetishes to be incredibly common. Foot fetishism doesn’t hurt anyone and it brings pleasure to people, and you should grow up.

But have you seen feet? They look like bits of mangled swamp wood. OK, I’ll try another angle. What if I told you that wikiFeet was reportedly visited by 700,000 people every week, and among them are the best amateur detectives since Jessica Fletcher?

Now I’m interested. OK, strap in and I’ll tell you the strange case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s fake nude feet.

As in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the congresswoman? That’s it. This weekend, someone on Reddit posted a picture of a woman’s legs and feet. You couldn’t see her face, but she was in a bath holding a vape pen, and the image was emblazoned with text suggesting Ocasio-Cortez had posted it on Instagram in 2016.

I don’t think I saw this. Really? You don’t subscribe to the r/dramasubreddit?

Oh boy. Here’s the thing: the pictured feet were not those of Ocasio-Cortez.

How can you be so sure? Because the good people of wikiFeet, who apparently get their rocks off by looking at actual pictures of Ocasio-Cortez’s feet, immediately recognised the post as a fake.

They did? A wikiFeet user told Vice that the feet in the image posted to Reddit looked as if they suffered from brachydactyly – an inherited trait whereby the bones of the fingers and toes are relatively short compared with the rest of the body – but this didn’t align with wikiFeet’s gallery of Ocasio-Cortez.

She has her own gallery? Absolutely. WikiFeet – which describes itself as “a collaborative site for sharing, rating and discussing celebrity feet pictures and videos” – has 15 photos of Ocasio-Cortez. She wears sandals in most of them, although she is barefoot in a handful.

And what’s the verdict? If you must know, the wikiFeet community has rated her feet 3.25 stars out of five, which means she has “OK feet”.

Wow, the internet is so harsh. It is – and ingenious. Thanks to the collective minds of the respective wikiFeet and Reddit communities, Ocasio-Cortez has managed to avoid a potentially career-ending scandal.

The scandal being that she vapes and sometimes washes her body? It’s so much worse than that – the image clearly shows a bottle of pumpkin-scented shampoo on the side of the bath.

I could never vote for anyone whose hair stinks of pumpkins. Me neither. That’s a fetish too sick for even the ugliest corners of the internet.

Do say: “The internet is capable of facilitating profound acts of deduction.”

Don’t say: “And pleasuring itself over pictures of celebrities’ feet. It’s also quite evidently capable of that.”