Friday, March 18, 2011

Dude, where'd you get that sign?

Who would be crazy enough to carry a sign like that in Joe Arpaio's Arizona?

No one, apparently.

This photo is a fake.

After receiving this image from a relative who -- for some unknown reason -- includes me in these right wing, Fox News-type email strings, I asked a designer with whom I work to look at the picture.

For me, the logic of the sign -- or, lack thereof -- was the giveaway that it was fake.

Nobody would show up to a rally carrying such a sign. They'd be arrested in a heart beat and right wing blogs and Web sites would explode with this image.

But I felt that mere logic would not be enough when confronting the person who sent this image to me.

So, I asked my colleague: "Is this image fake? If so, what are the telltale signs?"

He examined the picture and said, "It's been Photoshopped."

And explained that the pixelation around the letters in this sign were inconsistent with the pixelation in the rest of the photo when he enlarged it in Photoshop.

Then I took the image to, where I've seen time and again, photograph and design experts identify faked images.

The verdict there was exactly what my colleague had said.

In the words of one commenter, the image was "[s]hopped like a motherfucker."

Another pointed out, "look how the pixels on the text part were changed, but the white space wasn't, they blurred out the original text and replaced it".

And this:
Here's the entire pic. You'll notice that the arm is cut off and has a strange shape...also...the bottom of the sign slightly curves around the stick...but the text stays flat. The tops sign is also a bit splotchy from where someone used an airbrush tool to erase the original text.

This link shows in the second picture how a text box was used and then rotated to fit.
And finally: "I saved the file and opened it in photoshop, the first think I noticed was the uneven color of the first sign. The sign appears to have been erased and the surface blurred to make it more uniform. If you zoom in to see individual pixels there is a large patch on the sign where all of the pixels are the same color".

For anyone who wonders why a person who abhors racism remains on this informal mailing list, I would reply, "Because I not only fact-check this shit, I am interested in knowing what racists are up to."

Who are the racists who spread this crap?

Lloyd Marcus, a man who goes to great lengths to prove the Tea Party, for one, is not racist.

After doing my own investigation -- with Reddit's generous help -- I was then pointed to this Web site that pretty definitively confirms the obvious.

An astute Redditor pointed out, "see that building? that's not even in arizona, that's the LA times building".

Of course it is.

1 comment:

Beeno Kevorkian said...

Of course it doesn't occur to anyone that maybe the sign is the real deal and everything else has been photo-shopped.