Fake crowd scenes and photos  Iraq

The Evening Standard Doctored Photos


Indymedia.org UK

Simone Moore would like to report a massive display in propaganda that appeared in the evening edition of the Evening Standard, Wednesday the 9th April.

The front page has a massive photo on it with the heading 'Jubilation on the streets of Baghdad FREEDOM'

The photo is a still taken from BBC News 24. This massive image has been very obviously doctored in a programme such as Photoshop. The image features a massive crowd of Iraqi's celebrating in the streets, HOWEVER in the mid and background it is possible to see how numerous photo's have been cut and pasted together to create the illusion of there being a massive crowd present.

In the background there is a white object (very possibly a turban) that appears three times. In the background exactly the same bent tubular object (possibly an arm in a white shirt) appears twice. In the mid to background section (to the right hand side) a man in a white shirt appears facing the camera, further on to the left the man appears with his head facing the left. This man has been photographed twice, one shortly after the other.

In the background it is possible to see a 'blurring tool' has been used to blur the cut and pastes used to doctor the photograph. It is also possible to see the usage of numerous photographs (as least 2) as they have been taken at slightly different angles and strange lines of sight appear in the image.

Although we have seen jubilation crowds celebrating in Baghdad, none of them have been of this quantity and when the head title reads 'FREEDOM' I wonder when the press will just report the news instead of manipulating it to suit their image.

The source of the image is footage from the BBC. The Standard's paperboys were obviously allowed to clone and blur the image in numerous ways to make it look like a gigantic crowd. This was first exposed Simone Moore and posted on the UK Indymedia site. The image below is a dissection of the fakery by an IndyMedia user called Gnu and a Memory Hole reader called Daedalus.

The red circles show a man in a turban who appears three times. The purple circles highlight an unknown object that appears four times (it's smudged in its rightmost incarnation). The darker blue circles show two instances of an identical white object, disembodied arm, and partial male faces. The yellow ovals show a partial male face and another one or two objects that appear as a group thrice. Similarly, the orange ovals highlight some sort of conglomeration that was duplicated. The two lighter blue circles are around an indistinct blob that appears on top of itself, while the bright green circles show yet another man who appears twice in the scene.

The black circles show something a little different. Obviously, two different still-frames from the footage were used, because the man with sunglasses and white, open-collar shirt appears twice but in a different pose, as do the men on either side of him.

The green line indicates where the image was clumsily smudged in order to cover up the fact that it had been stitched together.

Above: the coloured circles mark the suspect areas. Whilst below: the photo as it appeared in London's Evening Standard

And take a look at the guy who's just to the right of center. His forearm is unnaturally long and very strangely shaped, becoming razor-thin at the wrist. What is this, a Salvador Dalí painting?

Evening Standard Finally Admits Using Faked Photos

Tuesday July 29, 2003
London’s Evening Standard has admitted to having doctored photos of Iraqi’s jubilantly greeting US forces as they entered Baghdad. The photo in question appeared on the front page of the Evening Standard on Wednesday, April 9th. However, the Evening Standard only acknowledged using doctored images on Thursday July 24, and even then its acknowledgement was buried in small print on page 18. Worse still, it didn’t even apologise for having presented readers with faked images. Instead, it blandly assures them that: “some extra people were added to the image in order to fill the space left by the removal of logos from the picture. In our opinion this did not alter the clarity of truth of the picture's message but we are happy to make this clear.”

Right. So this was all done in the pursuit of the truth.

But as one reader wrote in to us: “If the Evening Standard will provide the original unaltered image capture perhaps we can see this 'clarity of truth' for ourselves. Until then I will believe that they have manipulated this image to generate the acceptance of a lie.”


And the Evening Standard's belated acknowledgement that the image had actually been altered