Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Digital manipulation in politics and culture

The Internet demands skepticism. Anyone can publish any "fact," and sites like these:

help us separate fact from fiction.

Media can also be manipulated. For example, Fox News broadcast excerpts from President Obama's recent West Point speech, then accidentally posted a version with the applause removed on their Web site. (Some claim it was not an accident, but the poor quality of the editing supports Fox' assertion -- they would have done a better job if it were intentional).

Images are easily modified. These photos of President Bush reading a book upside down on 9-11 and John Kerry at an anti-war rally with Jane Fonda are Photoshop fakes:

Or, Consider these before and after shots taken from an eye opening Dove soap commercial:

As the commercial shows, makeup plus Photoshop can drastically alter an image. (Stretching her neck is the coolest step).

One might argue that the first examples are the most important -- in a democracy we should be able to trust our news media. But the second has social implications as well -- it sets unrealistic goals for appearance.

Can you find other examples of deception on the Internet?


  1. You have done a marvelous job! I am really inspired with your work.

  2. whos to says what is real any more from altered to natural its difficult to tell any more.

  3. its amazing what people can do with a computer now a days. who is to say what is natural or altered?