The Hoax Museum Blog
Health warnings on airbrushed photographs?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 23, 2009
A group of French politicians has proposed a law that would require a warning to be placed on digitally enhanced fashion images. From The Telegraph: A group of 50 politicians want a new law stating published images must have bold printed notice stating they have been digitally enhanced. Campaigning MP Valerie Boyer, of President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party, said the wording should read:"Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person's physical appearance". Mrs Boyer, who has also written a government report on anorexia and obesity, added: "We want to combat the stereotypical image that all women are young and slim. "These photos can lead people to believe in a reality that does…
The Lying Down Craze
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 10, 2009
An internet fad that managed to escape my attention is the "lying down" craze, in which people post photos of themselves lying face down, hands against their sides, in unusual locations. This sounded like fun to a group of British doctors and nurses: "The staff were pictured face down on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and the air ambulance heli-pad during a night shift at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wilts." Their mistake was to then post the photos on Facebook. Seven of them have now been suspended pending disciplinary hearings. [sun.co.uk]
Shanghai Sperm Bank Offers Helping Hand
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 04, 2009
Pictures showing a Shanghai Sperm Bank that allegedly "gives men a hand" with sperm donations did the rounds last year, and now they seem to be circulating again. The deal is supposedly that if you agree to get a health check and abstain from sex and masturbation, then you can donate your sperm 4-5 times a month. You get paid RMB200 per session. The sperm bank is located in Ren ji Hospital, No 145 Shan Dong Zhong Lu, Building 1, 7th FL, near Fu Zhou Lu, Shanghai, China. Click here and here for the pics, which are potentially NSFW. The Shanghai Sperm Bank is real, but its…
Did Robert Capa fake the ‘falling soldier’ photo?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 22, 2009
Robert Capa's photo of a soldier falling backward from the impact of a shot to his head is one of the most famous images in the history of photography. But for decades people have argued that Capa staged the shot. In the hoax photo archive I have a brief summary of the controversy. I come down on the side of those who feel the photo wasn't staged. Adding new fuel to the controversy, a Catalan newspaper now claims to have found evidence that Capa staged the shot. From The Independent:
The Photoshopped Refugee?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 13, 2009
11points.com has posted a list of 11 photos where black people were awkwardly photoshopped in or out. Most of them I've seen before. A few of them I even have on this site. But there was one I hadn't seen before. It's titled "Photoshopped diversity in a Lebanon refugee camp." 11points provides this description: In the summer of 2006, this photo ran in the New York Times and is a very important lesson about photojournalism. If you're going to Photoshop a black guy into a Lebanese refugee camp for one of the world's most respected newspapers, at least take the…
Oscar Mayer Wiener Jet
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 09, 2009
Unfortunately there never has been an Oscar Mayer Wiener Jet. This image is a fake. One of the earliest online references to the image dates back to Jan 15, 2007, when it was posted to the forum of philskies.net. The poster (whose profile identified him as a 2D and 3D animator) wrote, "I probably shouldn't post this pic, but it's in good fun. This was doing the email rounds internally when they were coming up with a livery for it." This suggests the image may have been a joke created by the graphic designers whom Boeing commissioned to create the livery for the 747-400 Largo Cargo…
Is one of the Michael Jackson rehearsal photos faked?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 01, 2009
Holymoly.com suggests that one of the rehearsal photographs of Michael Jackson, said to have been taken the night before he died, is fake. They point out that "the backdrop mysteriously disappears in between Michael's legs." They describe this as a "classic photoshop blunder" and suggest "this could be a fake composite, with Jackson's image being super imposed on top of another pic." It does look unusual, but I wouldn't be so quick to label it as photoshopped. That may just be how the backdrop looks in that area. (You would need to see an unobstructed view of the entire backdrop to be sure.) And what would be the point of photoshopping the picture? Is holymoly.com…
Students hoax Paris Match
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 26, 2009
A pair of French students attending Strasbourg university won first place in Paris Match's photoreporting competition, a prize that came with €5000. But upon receiving the prize, they revealed that all their photos had been staged. From the British Journal of Photography: Guillaume Chauvin and Rémi Hubert won for a reportage chronicling the harsh difficulties some poor students encounter while studying at the Strasbourg university. Their images showed students living in basements or offering sex to pay their rents. Another image portrayed a young man falling asleep in a bus as he embarked on a two-hour commute to his university. The reportage can be seen on Paris Match's website here. The…
Does Farrah Fawcett’s hair spell “SEX” in her famous poster?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 25, 2009
In honor of Farrah Fawcett, let's revisit one of the major urban legends of the late 1970s: that the curls of Fawcett's hair, in her famous red-bathing-suit poster, spell out the word "SEX." This legend arose to explain the incredible popularity of the poster, which sold over 12 million copies (by some accounts). It was always a bit of a mystery why that image in particular became such a focus of popular fixation. After all, there were plenty of other posters of scantily clad attractive young women. The subliminal seduction theory offered a seemingly plausible explanation. The poster was so popular, according to this theory, because the brains of young…
More news from Iran
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 22, 2009
Catching up on all the stuff coming out of Iran in the wake of the election: The Minister's Secret Letter Photocopies of a letter allegedly from the Iranian minister of interior to Iran's Supreme Leader have been circulating throughout Iran. The letter discusses "your orders for Mr Ahmadinejad to be elected president," and states "for your information only, I am telling you the actual results." Supposedly, the actual results show that Ahmadinejad lost badly, getting only 5,698,417 votes, compared with 19,075,623 for Mousavi and 13,387,104 for Karroubi. Assuming the election was fraudulent, this letter still doesn't seem plausible. Why would an official openly admit in a letter that the election was fixed?…
Diversity, Toronto Style
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 12, 2009
Another case of cut-and-paste diversity. The city of Toronto wanted to feature a racially diverse assortment of people on the cover of its summer Fun Guide. Unable to find a photo that met that criteria, it created one via photoshop. The original is on the left, the altered cover on the right. (That's a really bad photoshop job.) The alteration was noticed by a graphics editor at the National Post. The most famous case of cut-and-paste diversity was the cover of the 2001-2002 University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate application, mailed out to 50,000 prospective students, in which they inserted the head of a black guy into an all-white crowd…
The Panama Women’s Cricket Team
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 15, 2009
The latest viral hoax photos circulating online claim to show shots of the Panama Women's Cricket Team. It doesn't take a degree in Photoshop to realize these women's buttocks have been digitally altered. Fool Blogger has tracked down what appears to be one of the unaltered originals. The Fakes: The Real One: What I don't know is whether this actually is the Panama Women's Cricket Team. A google search for "Panama Women's Cricket Team" simply brings up these photos.
Saudis Censor Katy Perry
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 17, 2009
Blogger Susie Of Arabia reports that after buying a copy of Katy Perry's album One of the Boys in Saudi Arabia, she realized that all the pictures of Katy Perry had been heavily doctored by Saudi censors. Below (left) is the original album cover, and on the right is the Saudi version. This is standard practice in Saudi Arabia. A few years ago I posted about Mariah Carey album covers that were similarly doctored by the Saudis. Susie suggests that the Katy Perry albums were individually doctored by hand, by censors armed…
New Lincoln Death Photos
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 08, 2009
After President Lincoln died, there was a huge demand for photos of him lying in his casket. However, the army didn't allow any photos to be taken. As a result, a lot of fake Lincoln death photos appeared. I've posted about this before, and I have an example of a fake Lincoln death photo in the Hoax Photo Database. Mary Curtis just sent me an old newspaper clipping describing some Lincoln death photos owned by her grandmother. Unfortunately, no one knows where the photos are now. According to the clipping, she kept them "in a bank vault in a nearby town."…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 06, 2009
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rest of his new government posed for an official photo in Jerusalem on April 1. But when the photo appeared in the ultra-orthodox newspaper Yated Neeman, all the women had been digitally removed from the photo. Apparently ultra-orthodox Jews don't like the idea of women in politics and seem to believe that if they can't see them, then they don't exist. [Suomen Kuvalehti]