Is Seeing Believing?

Karkhana Pvt Ltd
May 17, 2021

With improving technology, a lot of tasks have become much easier than what people could have conceived decades ago. For example, hardly anyone would have thought that altering photographs could be this convenient. Rise of tools like photoshop, GIMP have made it possible for any interested person to be able to make convincing edits to photographs. While this has opened up a whole new realm of creativity, people haven’t refrained from using this technology to create falsehood.

There is a popular saying which goes as “seeing is believing.” In today’s age of digital technology, does the saying still hold true? Let’s find out.

Let’s have a look at some interesting images we found while surfing the internet. Can you guess which of these images are fake?

I assume you have guessed correctly. All of these images are fake. In other words these photos have been changed using photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

The first picture is of the world leaders meeting at the G7 summit was one of the most altered pictures on the internet. A lot of jokes and memes have been made out of this photo.

The picture of famous Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone was modified. By adding in “vote for BJP” on the scarf they’re wearing, it makes them look like they supported the BJP, a political party in India. You can see the original and the modified photo below.

The image claims to show a “NASA photo” of South Asia during the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali. The different shaded colors are actually supposed to show population growth over time. You can see an actual image of India from space during Diwali below. Notice how the lights aren’t as shown in the colored image.

The photograph of Indian couple scaling Mount Everest was popular on social media a few years ago. They said that they were the first Indian couple to climb Everest, but later it was found that they altered other people’s photos and lied to everyone.

Altering a photo, even with the best software, is a task that takes time and skills. So what do you think about altering photos? Is it OK to do? Take time to think about this, discuss with your friends and write your feelings in your journal.

People alter photos and even videos for the following reasons

  • For fun, and to make jokes and memes.
  • To get more likes and followers. They also do it to get more visitors on their website.
  • In advertisements, they do it to make someone or something look better.
  • Because they have an agenda. This is usually the dangerous one. They want you to believe or do something and they are trying to manipulate you into it.

So how do you check if the image on the internet is real or fake?

The Reverse Image Search in Google is a tool that you can use to find out if the image is real or fake. This will give you the results of where the image has been used and what people are saying about the image. There are other alternatives to Google Reverse Image search. For example, if you are using a phone to check images, you can use tineye.

Note: This article has been adapted from a lesson from Karkhana’s Digital Citizenship book for students aged 9 to 12 years.