Iran gets caught photoshopping, again

The country of Iran recently held elections that many are saying were rigged and that their votes did not count. The current winner and previous term president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who acts more as a dictator than a freely elected politician has been brought to Internet justice with the photoshopped picture below.

What you clearly see is that someone in Ahmadinejad's regime altered the picture below to make a crowd supporting the outcome look much larger thus showing greater support for his following.

This is not the first time Ahmadinejad has been caught Photoshopping either. In July of 2008 a missile test in Iran was Photoshopped to show that four missiles were successfully launched when it was actually three or possibly two missiles.

It's a sad state of affairs for Iran that it must go to these lengths to try and persuade the world that this was a true election. Despite the fact that millions of votes were supposedly counted in two hours and a fake photo showing support of the "winner" are signs of forgery the people of Iran are the ones who lost the most.

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I feel like someone needs to dissect this article to see what it really contains and then afterwards make conclusions, and since no one has really done that in a clear way, I guess I'll have to do it. Here goes:


The country of Iran recently held elections that many are saying were rigged and that their votes did not count.

A statement that gives the reader the impression that the general consensus is that the elections were fake and simply for show.

The current winner and previous term president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who acts more as a dictator than a freely elected politician has been brought to Internet justice with the photoshopped picture below.

The statement in bold letters is clearly opinion and not an example of objective journalism (otherwise it would be backed by a source).

What you clearly see is that someone in Ahmadinejad's regime altered the picture below to make a crowd supporting the outcome look much larger thus showing greater support for his following.

What we see here is a reporters own personal conclusion being fed to the reader, just think, do we even know where this image comes from? Then how can we conclude that it comes from official government sources, and even then, how can we know that it was created as a result of orders given by higher officials? For all we know it could be the result of a overzealous Ahmadinejad supporter.

This is not the first time Ahmadinejad has been caught Photoshopping either. In July of 2008 a missile test in Iran was Photoshopped to show that four missiles were successfully launched when it was actually three or possibly two missiles.

This quote tries to make the reader believe that Ahmadinejad personally was behind the alteration of the previous image of which of course there is no proof at all.

It's a sad state of affairs for Iran that it must go to these lengths to try and persuade the world that this was a true election.

Once again we are told (between the lines) that the election was simply for show and not a real election.

Despite the fact that millions of votes were supposedly counted in two hours

A claim with no source, but a true one at least (source, however, we are not told that there were electronic ballot systems in place in urban areas so "millions of votes in a few hours" is entirely possible.

and a fake photo showing support of the "winner" are signs of forgery the people of Iran are the ones who lost the most.

Once again we are force-fed the notion that Ahmadinejad is a fraud and not the winner of the true elections.


Now, I hope I've made it clear enough that this article is either very bad journalism or direct anti-Ahmadinejad propaganda.
As a last remark I'd like to express how thoroughly disappointed I am by the fact that this found its way to the Neowin front page - not because of it being anti-Ahmadinejad - but because it is so poorly researched and more a show of opinion than an objective piece of journalism.


PS
People interested in this article should be more interested in news like this BBC News because we can all agree that Iranian state news is not free, but what about the BBC?
Also, if you haven't already, try reading "All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror" by Stephen Kinzer, it's an interesting insight into the history of the Iran we see today.

mikiem said,
When we stop being shocked -- when this stuff can no longer surprise -- we're far poorer for it.

+1, sir.

(And aren't the Bad Guys supposed to have some high-tech secret lair? Or did their 'Evil' Budget get spent on refining nuclear matter? Couldn't find a mail-in design course online? Even some tutorials??)

Thanks Brad. Your short article sparked a bit of debate & conversation, which AFAIK is/was exactly what articles on Neowin are intended to do.

My 2 cents worth, FWIW, there's *supposed* to be a very definite line between reporting & advertising. It's not observed all that much anymore, but I think folks should be reminded from time to time -- without reporting advertising comes dangerously close to becoming our perception of reality.

That makes it news whenever anyone, any group or government gets caught trying to pass ad work off as reality. That's why so many people get upset when they find ad work getting passed off as reality.

Does this article belong on Neowin? Considering that currently it takes up 6 lines on the front page -- & that's only because there's an ad next to it -- I can't see any reason it shouldn't be there. Readers can certainly skip over it if they choose. Twitter postponed a maintenance shutdown, there's certainly a lot of activity on-line related to the Iranian Election, there's a lot of interest according to search stats, there's enough interest that the photo was checked out & the results passed on, people world-wide are concerned... so yeah, I think it qualifies.

And I think it's a bit ironic that folks clicked thru & read the article, showing interest, then went on to post it didn't belong here. ;-)

Is the article about Photoshopping? Not really. It's true that there's more than ample examples of very poor work out there -- my favorite is an AP image where whomever included a 5 - 6 pixel contrasting halo when they clicked paste -- so it's easy to become jaded & cynical, and stop paying attention (that favorite AP pic was posted to an national news site). But is that a good thing? Thanks again, Brad, for reminding us it's not.

Why are any of you surprised by this? It's in the politician's job description: lies, deception, greed, screwing everyone over, etc. ;)
Why should Iran be any different. The elections last week weren't any less fair than what happened in Florida in 2000, for example.

Ahmadinejad won. Get over it!

Pr0metheus said,
Why are any of you surprised by this? It's in the politician's job description: lies, deception, greed, screwing everyone over, etc. ;)
Why should Iran be any different. The elections last week weren't any less fair than what happened in Florida in 2000, for example.

Ahmadinejad won. Get over it!


ummmm... not agreeing / disagreeing, BUT, talking about something that happened in 2000 & then: "Ahmadinejad won. Get over it"
;?P

Pr0metheus said,
Why are any of you surprised by this? It's in the politician's job description: lies, deception, greed, screwing everyone over, etc. ;)
Why should Iran be any different. The elections last week weren't any less fair than what happened in Florida in 2000, for example.

Ahmadinejad won. Get over it!

Poly = The latin word for many.
Tick = A Small, lecherous insect.

All I know is The Islamic Republic Of Iran has some of the finest looking women I have ever seen.

However, The Islamic Republic Of Iran could not be a democratic country under Islamic rules.

So Ayatollah Humani needs to go also.

Iran is supposed to be a secular country, can't be if run by a man that imposes Islamic views on everyone.

njlouch said,
That would be Khomeini - but yes, I agree. And some of the women are amazingly stunning too.

No, Khomeini died in 1989, it's (Ali) Khamenei now. Keep up!

and like .. US media doesn't shop pix? lol. CNN shop alot of their photos especially pix they use to bash other country's regime.

Even if it was rigged , it still doesnt give u the right to go run around in streets trying to start fights with everyone .... wait why r we even talking about this , this is supposed to be a tech site... it's pretty obvious author wanted to use this to express his own opinion on another country's regime. but that sorta thing belongs to your personal blog, not a tech site.

likeAP said,
and like .. US media doesn't shop pix? lol. CNN shop alot of their photos especially pix they use to bash other country's regime.

Examples, please.

Kirkburn said,
Examples, please.

ok. for example, the-not-too-long-ago tibet incident. cnn used shopped pic to bash the chinese government. but it was later shown that they cropped out the part of the pic where it shows tibetan monks viciously beat up a civilian. cnn also used a slightly altered pic of Nepalese army beating up ppl and claimed it was the chinese army. and so on. there should be plenty of results on this if u google. but then again, this is a tech site. so less politics moar tech news would be nice. kthxbai.

likeAP said,
ok. for example, the-not-too-long-ago tibet incident. cnn used shopped pic to bash the chinese government. but it was later shown that they cropped out the part of the pic where it shows tibetan monks viciously beat up a civilian. cnn also used a slightly altered pic of Nepalese army beating up ppl and claimed it was the chinese army. and so on. there should be plenty of results on this if u google. but then again, this is a tech site. so less politics moar tech news would be nice. kthxbai.

Links or it didn't happen.

kthxbai

May I suggest that we email the source and point out the flaws in the photo and suggest how improvements might be made.

It would help to see it larger, but it looks to me like even all the stuff in front is Photoshopped, not just some crowd fill-in in the back.

The entire thing belongs in the National Enquirer.

Kirkburn said,
Get what? How could the image possible be clearer?


Simple. It could be bigger for one. The whole thing is such a blurred mess I almost don't know how anyone could see any touch ups to begin with.

uhhhh...I'm not a huge fan of the Iranian government or anything, but this hardly seems an attempt at misleading people. The edits are in fact minor, and its something I would do as graphics composition (eliminate background noise/distractions).

thornz0 said,
uhhhh...I'm not a huge fan of the Iranian government or anything, but this hardly seems an attempt at misleading people. The edits are in fact minor, and its something I would do as graphics composition (eliminate background noise/distractions).

You are kidding right ? if photoshopping a picture to make it look like you have more supporters during a highly contested election is not, what is "misleading" ??

This is neither minor nor "graphic composition".. he was not removing noise, he was adding "fake" peoples !!

thornz0 said,
uhhhh...I'm not a huge fan of the Iranian government or anything, but this hardly seems an attempt at misleading people. The edits are in fact minor, and its something I would do as graphics composition (eliminate background noise/distractions).


Except for one thing - how the edited photo was used. Not art, but disguised as *I-was-there*, despite it being an edited photo. If a photojournalist did that, the scream would be "FAKE!" as loud as it took; yet a despotocracy at loggerheads with the United States (historically) gets a pass? (I'm not the one that said that comment about being historically at loggerheads; President Barack Obama did, earlier today.)

Ikshaar said,
You are kidding right ? if photoshopping a picture to make it look like you have more supporters during a highly contested election is not, what is "misleading" ??

This is neither minor nor "graphic composition".. he was not removing noise, he was adding "fake" peoples !!

It wasn't a crowd of people though, there's already a huge number of people in that photo. The people that were edited in, were small and in the background. This isn't a stadium full of people, its a few, tiny individuals in the background. You can't just "ignore" the details of what was done because it suits your argument. A blanket "omg they photoshopped an image" is vague, misleading, and besides the point. If i was charged with presenting an image for PR or whatever, I would have done the same, because it LOOKS better, nothing to do with misleading people or trying to prove the elections weren't rigged.

thornz0 said,
It wasn't a crowd of people though, there's already a huge number of people in that photo. The people that were edited in, were small and in the background. This isn't a stadium full of people, its a few, tiny individuals in the background. You can't just "ignore" the details of what was done because it suits your argument. A blanket "omg they photoshopped an image" is vague, misleading, and besides the point. If i was charged with presenting an image for PR or whatever, I would have done the same, because it LOOKS better, nothing to do with misleading people or trying to prove the elections weren't rigged.

Please, never ever be a politician. What you're suggesting is disgusting.

thornz0 said,
You can't just "ignore" the details of what was done because it suits your argument. A blanket "omg they photoshopped an image" is vague, misleading, and besides the point....
If i was charged with presenting an image for PR or whatever, I would have done the same, because it LOOKS better, nothing to do with misleading people or trying to prove the elections weren't rigged.

I don't know if you are just trolling or what but your argument makes no sense. Removing noise qualify as "looks better". Adding people is a cheat, it's misleading and anything you want to call it but the truth. If Moussavi camp had posted such photoshopped image, I would be glad to say the same.

This is textbook disinformation.

With despotic governments, it's ALWAYS all about the power, and sticking our fingers in our ears/heads in the sand/sailing aboard the Royal Barge will not make it otherwise. Previous examples: the Original Holy Roman Empire and its predecessor, the Papal States. Cloaking a despotocracy in religious clothing does not stop it from being a despotocracy.

This kind of "news", we do not want to see in the freaking front page. This is a technology news site (thought so at least), and this kind of "politically" charged articles with no real "technology" news is just lame. LAME!

If you have any political opinion you want to beam to the world about Iran, please use your FB or Myspace page, not "our" favorite "technology news" front page. Thank you.

neowinid said,
This kind of "news", we do not want to see in the freaking front page. This is a technology news site (thought so at least), and this kind of "politically" charged articles with no real "technology" news is just lame. LAME!

If you have any political opinion you want to beam to the world about Iran, please use your FB or Myspace page, not "our" favorite "technology news" front page. Thank you.


The article is *not* about an opinion one way or another; it simply baldly states that the claimant of victory in last week's Iranian elections has been caught red-handed using software for underhanded purposes (apparently, he has done this before). That *is* technology news, as it proves that even software can be used for *evil*. Software is a tool (just like the computer itself, or the printing press, or even the firearm) - it still boils down to what you do with it. (Given the high cost of Photoshop, maybe the mullahs used the GIMP?)

neowinid said,
This kind of "news", we do not want to see in the freaking front page. This is a technology news site (thought so at least), and this kind of "politically" charged articles with no real "technology" news is just lame. LAME!

While I agree there is a political element to the post, this is nothing new. Technology and politics are not wholly separate entities. Governments photoshopping photos is news in both spheres.

/me suppresses a sigh at RAID 0

... This site isn't "your" site. It doesn't belong to you, nor is it controlled by you, nor are you profiting from it or is it supporting you in any way at all.

It is your privilege to be here, not your right, so stop bitching about it. And yes, photoshopping is a big thing nowadays on many issues concerning proof, both political and otherwise. So, if you don't like it, gtfo or stfu. No one is forcing you to use Neowin.

By the way, your quotation marks are horribly misused/misplaced/have no meaning.

Wow.. I can't believe how many don't think this is more evidence of a crooked regime. Not that I needed anymore evidence that the fix was in, but here you go, photoshopping a picture to look as though more supports turned out than is the truth. And those that are out there are probably part of the regime or scared to death of it.

From what I've seen Iran seems more democratic than, for example, China who despite their appaling human rights record hardly have a bad word said against them simply because money talks. That's not to say I think Iran is wonderful but certainly not the worst.

m.keeley said,
From what I've seen Iran seems more democratic than, for example, China ...

ummmm... do they still stone women to death in China?

Wow, a lot of supporters of shooting civilians in the throat and letting them drown in their own blood here... Impressive.

As for "why is this news" Iran has been caught several times before photoshopping and the media at large has oft fell for it wholesale (as was true of this picture, which appeared on the pages of several newspapers, BBC's website, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC, which makes the revelation that it was a CLEARLY doctored photo relatively big news...and tech related.

A very modest photoshop job and trivial. Also the way the article is worded the tech side isn't the authors point, their point is that, in their opinion, the election was unfair. This may or may not be the case but the tech side of it is more of a cover.

"modest" photoshop that conned every major new agency in the world and an example of state-sponsored propaganda...Without the undoctored photo we CANT know how "modest" the photoshop was, and at any rate claiming it's "just a photoshop" is a way of carrying water and trying to remove the "distraction" that is the Iran govenment trying to use the world's media as a propaganda machine of it's own...

they have been doing this for years, i believe North Korea has a video and it was rendered with duplicate men marching as one of the soldiers leg is twisting a bit in many rows, exactly the same # of people down the row.

It's a sad state of affairs for Iran that it must go to these lengths to try and persuade the world that this was a true election
I don't see how this picture persuades, in any way, the world's perception of the election. It's a minor photoshop job; not a big deal.

The university I attended for college photoshopped a black guy into the cover of a student program. THAT is a sad state of affairs.

Every picture of every model in every magazine is photoshopped to the point of inhuman presentation. THAT is a sad state of affairs.

boogerjones said,
I don't see how this picture persuades, in any way, the world's perception of the election. It's a minor photoshop job; not a big deal.

The university I attended for college photoshopped a black guy into the cover of a student program. THAT is a sad state of affairs.

Every picture of every model in every magazine is photoshopped to the point of inhuman presentation. THAT is a sad state of affairs.


Wait, so photoshopping related to a Uni = big deal. Photoshopping related to an entire country's election = not a big deal.

Not quite understanding the logic there.

What a load of rubbish, the changes hardly made any difference, definately don't make the "crowds much larger". This also presumes he didn't win, which even the Americans think he probbaly did (just not as convincingly). Should be a forum discussion at best. Pity we can't rate an article as zero.

So trivial is isn't worth posting, however as it has been I was merely pointing out, that IMO, it isn't newsworthy and at most should be a forum message.

m.keeley said,
So trivial is isn't worth posting, however as it has been I was merely pointing out, that IMO, it isn't newsworthy and at most should be a forum message.

The point is, they are modifying images to make it appear larger. This is very alarming to me. So what your saying is "oh my government is corrupt, but not enough to be news worthy".

In other news, Michelle Obama's inauguration outfit to be featured in Isabel Toledo exhibit.

m.keeley said,
What a load of rubbish, the changes hardly made any difference, definately don't make the "crowds much larger".

How do you know those are the only changes? If it was a good photoshop, you wouldn't have noticed anything at all - what's to say some of the rest of it isn't "good"?

Americans think he did? Where did you get your crap from? The only official word from any American authority is that they are concerned if this election reflected the wishes of Iranian people. No one said yes or no to that. But if you look at the evidence. 2 hours to count some 40 million votes. That alone is a major problem, unless Iran had some amazing counting machines, or that there wasn't even a count to begin with.

And what utter BS is the "not very convincingly" comment? So, if a government changed the result from 57% to 67%, because the result stayed the same, it makes it right to change the percentage?

I'm not saying the incumbent could not have won, but he sure made a shoddy effort to make look as if he had won.

m.keeley, just wondering -

If you don't like a certain article, why not just move on to one you do like? Why bother steering the article away from discussion just because you are not interested in it? Other people are and I certainly am. Without this article, I would never have known about this. It is also to do with technology - Photoshop.

Pupik said,
Great, another opportunity for the Iranian protesters to spread their propaganda.

Such as? Fairly sure Brad Sams isn't Iranian, in any case.

Pupik said,
Great, another opportunity for the Iranian protesters to spread their propaganda.

Whomever's doing the propaganda for those protesters must be awfully good to add that fake blood to their cell phone videos

Why is this frontpage news?

Not only is there very little news in this piece, but most of it is about your opinion about Iran and their president

Here, I'll give you something better to write about: Obama's use of technology to reach a broad audience. Check how it has come along.

That'd be more useful than... OMG LOOK PHOTOSHOP NOOBZ

Somehow you managed to bash Obama in this as well.... cause Obama's personal militia is kiilling and imprisoning protesters.

Beastage said,
Somehow you managed to bash Obama in this as well.... cause Obama's personal militia is kiilling and imprisoning protesters.

wtf? This "article" is focused on photoshopping a picture, but really is a cover to take some jabs at the Iranian president. The situation in Iran is interesting, I wouldn't say tragic as the people are making their voices heard, but this news article completely sideswipes the real story

I think for a tech site, if that is still the purpose of this site, my angle with Obama may be more interesting than reporting about photoshop jobs.

Why not report about the photoshop fun happening in North Korea? Hell, why don't we also bring in the discussion about magazines and their amazing use of photoshop

Deathray said,
Why is this frontpage news?

Not only is there very little news in this piece, but most of it is about your opinion about Iran and their president

Here, I'll give you something better to write about: Obama's use of technology to reach a broad audience. Check how it has come along.

That'd be more useful than... OMG LOOK PHOTOSHOP NOOBZ

I'd assume because it has to do with technology. but while the old Iran is still photoshopping, the real change is how much twitter is being used. and spreading around DDOS software.

Yes, how dare they run a story involving technology and an election that affects millions of people. That's totally not what Neowin is for. Oh, wait...

In other news, there is Obama. Note the word other.

Deathray said,
Why is this frontpage news?

I guess because Photoshop is involved? Otherwise, I don't see anything surprising about this election, because the exact same thing happens EVERY Iranian election.

Deathray said,
Why is this frontpage news?

Not only is there very little news in this piece, but most of it is about your opinion about Iran and their president

Here, I'll give you something better to write about: Obama's use of technology to reach a broad audience. Check how it has come along.

That'd be more useful than... OMG LOOK PHOTOSHOP NOOBZ


Remember the fuss that kicked up about Adnan Hajj using photoshop to make his photos seem more "dramatic"?

Well this is like that only with an obvious political agenda, it's government sanctioned and it's vaguely amusing. How is this not worthy of front page news?

It's amusing, interesting and involves the (rather poor) application of technology. Sounds good enough for a short post on the front page to me.

toadeater said,
I guess because Photoshop is involved? Otherwise, I don't see anything surprising about this election, because the exact same thing happens EVERY Iranian election.

When we stop being shocked -- when this stuff can no longer surprise -- we're far poorer for it. We can still be pragmatic without losing our capacity for outrage... otherwise acceptance simply breeds drones.

Deathray said,
Why is this frontpage news?

Because this is a news website and we are currently on the front page.

;)

Seriously, if you're not interested, why not move along to another article? The fact is, this is serious business and it is about technology - Iran supposedly Photoshopping images.

Maybe it's time for you to stop bitching about what's posted here for your information and entertainment. Neowin has time and tiem again given us quality news not just because they post what's big and happening in the tech world, but because they also post what catches their interest.