sunnuntaina, elokuuta 06, 2006

Go Reuters, go ABC!

Reuters publishes doctored images of Beirut. When they are challenged, at least they are up to the standards of admitting it and withdrawing the images. Several hours later ABC uses the same doctored images for showing how badly Israel is hammering Beirut.

Afterwards somebody in the Reuters staff sends death threats to Charles Johnson, the author of LGF who pointed out the forgery. Reuters has told that they have suspended the person in question.

ps. the same person's photos about Qana disaster have been widely disseminated. The same person's photos of whom we were told that the ethics of photographers are so high that it is outrageous that anyone would even suggest that a professional photographer would go and doctor photos they take.

My suggestion: Make each professional digital camera have a secure chip with a unique public key/private key pair that is used to sign each photograph with the date and time of taking the photo, possibly a sequence number. This should be done so that nobody has access to reading or changing the private key from the card. Then whenever a photograph would be published, the publisher would also publish the original unaltered picture in a separate place where anyone could go and check that the photograph has not been tailored.

5 kommenttia:

Mark kirjoitti...

I agree, given the recent rise of different media sources on the net if the mainstream media cannot find a way to police their self and maintain a high level of credibility viewers will look elsewhere for their news. Which is GREAT for us bloggers. hehe.

Mikko Särelä kirjoitti...

The same also applies to us bloggers. It would be nice to be able to publish photos which people could be certain of that they had not been tampered with.

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

"Make each professional digital camera have a secure chip with a unique public key/private key pair that is used to sign each photograph with the date and time of taking the photo, possibly a sequence number."

I'm definitely against that. I own a professional camera and I don't want such a feature.

Reuters and other publishers can simply buy Canon dSLR cameras and Canon Data Verification Kits

http://tinyurl.com/7fb63


By the way, everyone who has used Photoshop can easily see that the extra smoke in Reuters' image have been added with Clone Brush tool. The doctored image simply sucks. Such a manipulation can be done in less than 5 minutes.

Mikko Särelä kirjoitti...

I wouldn't dream of trying to make such a feature compulsory for professional cameras. I'm a libertarian and believe in the working of a free society. Instead, I'm saying that we should create pressure toward news photographers that they would get cameras that have such a feature. Media companies might want to require shots to be taken with such cameras to ensure their authenticity and thus maintain their reputation.

You might, or might not, end up buying camera with such feature in future - but it would be your choice.

It's great that such features for some cameras already exist.

The alterations in the picture shown were simply to notice, but not all alterations that can be done to a picture are. There are many ways of manipulating pictures in a propagandist way, which are not so easy to find out. Do you think we should just accept that any photograph we see in newspapers may be doctored? [A photo of course can always be manipulated through choice of lighting, framing, etc. but the things that are in the photo actually should have to exist.]

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

"'m saying that we should create pressure toward news photographers that they would get cameras that have such a feature."

I agree. Luckily there is already a quite strong demand for image verification system.

A verification system could be done in such a way that you can turn the feature on (off) if needed.


"It's great that such features for some cameras already exist. "

Unfortunately those canon data verification kits are very expensive (around $700) :/


"There are many ways of manipulating pictures in a propagandist way, which are not so easy to find out. Do you think we should just accept that any photograph we see in newspapers may be doctored?"

Yep, I know. I think that an image verification system is important. I only hope that some day there is a text verification system also. :D It's more important