Blackmailing officials by sending
real doctored photos of them participating in scandalous activities is apparently all the rage, prompting the central government to seek help from photoshop experts to cover up their scandalous behavior protect their reputations. Even though clearly the officials’ own photoshop jobs are the most damaging thing to their reputations. SMCP reports:
Research teams at major universities have received funding from the central government to come up with ways to help the authorities quickly determine whether an image has been manipulated by photo-editing software such as Photoshop.
Nevertheless, many paid up as demanded for fear that if the photos are circulated they would prompt an investigation .
To Beijing, there is also another worry. Local propaganda officials frequently use Photoshop to improve photos of government leaders.
Sharp-eyed internet users have discovered many of these fake photos on government websites, such as a party secretary inspecting work while seemingly floating in the air, which further damage the authorities’ already shaky credibility.
Scientists have therefore been asked to come up with technical solutions to sniff out fake photos on government websites so they could be removed before they became a public embarrassment.
Different research teams are developing different technologies, but they say they have been slightly overwhelmed by the challenges of the mission, which range from the increasing complexity of the technology to the enormous quantity of questionable photos needing to be processed.
However, we fear “fake photos” could become a scapegoat for anytime an official is photographed actually doing something scandalous, which we’ve seen no shortage of in the past.
Rule of thumb: if the pic shows officials taking bribes, it’s probably real. Zing!