Sunday, September 04, 2005

Propaganda and Fake Photos

I've been active on the Internet for some time, and have seen many hoaxes and fakes, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people take these seriously. This is one example.

One of my Arab friends sent me this picture, which was posted in an Arabic-language forum. The picture itself is rather silly, but what is worse is the fact that people in that Arabic-language forum are actually taking it seriously: thinking this is a real picture, taken inside a real American classroom.

Some obvious flaws I see:
  • The edges of the chalk-marks are too sharp - real chalk tends to be more smudged around the edges.
  • The letters on the blackboard are too identical in their shapes, as if they were drawn by a computer.
  • An American teacher would never write "saved England's ass" on a blackboard, this use of "ass" is considered vulgar here and inappropriate for a classroom.
  • The lines around the American flag are too sharp, an obvious copy-and-paste job.
  • The girl's head that is superimposed on the flag appears to be cut out. If you look closely, you can see the jagged edges around her hair, and the fact that there are no loose strands of hair over the flag.
My Arab friend (who is also a reader here) is busy arguing on that Arabic forum that this picture is a fake, but could use some help. If any readers here can think of any other flaws with it that can prove it's a fake, or can identify the original source of this cut-and-paste job, please leave a comment here.