Mainland China Internet surfers have always suspected China’s state-run media of extensively using the popular graphic editing tool Adobe Photoshop, but they did not expect the artificial contrivance to be so noticeable.
The Chinese regime’s state-run media agency Xinhua News published a photo of regime leader Hu Jintao visiting Qingdao, which shows two identical faces in the crowd. Upon careful examination, the pavement in front of and behind Hu is different, and the Caucasian man on the far left is not really looking at Hu [see left]. The image is actually a compilation of two photos.
The ‘Photoshopped’ image was published in the Xinhua article “Chinese President Inspects Preparatory Work for Olympics Sailing Event.” The article implied that the algae bloom in the Qingdao Olympic regatta venue was very serious since Hu did not go to the seaside, but a photo of a sail (right of image) is added by Xinhua to prove the “good news” of his so-called visit.
More than 3 million posts have appeared in online Chinese forums and message boards regarding the photo. Later, Xinhua ordered other media not to use the photo without any explanation or apology.
It is not the first time that Xinhua has allegedly ‘Photoshopped’ news photos. In May, during Hu and his wife’s farewell meeting with the emperor of Japan, Mrs. Hu was sitting too close to her interpreter and the interpreter was blocked, making for an awkward and confusing photo. Xinhua News was dissatisfied with the photo and decided to remove the interpreter from the photo, only leaving her chair. However, they forgot to remove her feet, which appeared under the chair [see right]. This photo was published in the Chinese newspaper Jiefang Daily and was jokingly called “Two people with six legs” by the public.