China is Investing in Photoshop Research After Too Many Embarrassing Experiences


After experiencing one too many embarrassing, high-profile Photoshop disasters, China is turning its research focus on image-editing software, although not in the way you might think.

The country isn’t seeking to improve its overall Photoshop skills. Instead, research teams at major universities are working on a government-funded project to develop technology that will quickly and automatically determine if an image on the Web has been manipulated.


Although faked photos that embarrass the government certainly are one concern — the hope is that the tech will uncover embarrassing photos on government websites so they can be removed before they make headlines — the government seems to be more worried about a growing trend of criminals altering photos of government officials to show sexually compromising scenes, which are then used as blackmail fodder.

A party secretary in Hunan province said officials there are especially sensitive to claims of sexual impropriety after a sex tape scandal resulted in the sacking of more 20 senior officials last year. Less than 10 percent of such blackmail victims report the incidents to police.


While detecting Photoshop manipulation doesn’t seem to be a big challenge in cases such as the infamous “floating officials” image, people tend to be a lot more discerning of such errors than machines.

“Fake photos such as ‘floating officials’ are relatively easy to detect because they have destroyed the correlation between pixels,” Professor Niu Shaozhang of Beijing University told the South China Morning Post. “Our main job is to give an objective judgment on photos, such as whether an official had been enlarged, whether the point of focus had been reallocated.”

(via South China Morning Post via Business Insider)

  • Jeremy Madore

    Get it right in the camera. Oops.
    Get it right in Photoshop. Darn it, missed that one too.
    Get it right by developing software that analyzes our mistakes. Success!

    I realize there’s more to it (yes, I read the article) but this is just dumbfounding.

  • Mike

    Ah, good old commies. Never trying to do a good work, instead just saving their own ass.

    So, why did we not nuke this place after Japan?

  • jrconner

    This is a moral issue, not a technical one, and technical fixes won’t be enough to solve it.

  • Eugene Chok

    commies and nukes… good to see you have moved on from the 80s…. idiot or troll you are one of the two

  • R O

    Probably because they were our allies during WWII, the communist revolution in China did not occur until 1949 and for the simple fact they never attacked us.

  • Ralph Hightower

    In the top photo, they’ve seen too many Matrix movies.

  • nikonian

    Start by learning proportion and perspective. A horrible photoshopper looks much better with just that

  • eka gaurangga

    more made in china

  • Graf Almassy

    Ahmm… Iraq or Afghanistan attacked your country before declaring the war against them?

  • Jake

    How do you say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” in Chinese?

  • Fed Up with weirdos like you

    The Chinese never cease to amaze me…they are beyond idiotic

  • Matt

    Do no not underestimate Mike, he could easily be two of those…

  • Andres Trujillo

    in WWII, you mean, right?

    MacArthur, sure as hell, wanted to nuke them

  • Brandon Heat

    are you retarded, or what? well, you must be if you think that you can solve anything by dropping a nuclear bomb on a country

    the simple people arent at fault for being oppressed by their leaders
    i lived in USA for a summer and the americans i met werent as stupid as you, the normal people i met were just like the normal everyday people in my home country, except that americans were more polite (not all though)

    you give a bad name to your country because of your immense stupidity
    if USA drops any kind of bomb, or attacks Russia, North Korea or China, the USA will be destroyed shortly after, and i dont mean some planes will crash into skyscrapers and the skyscrapers will just collapse (thats retarded)

    i mean that 99% of the population in USA will be killed in a matter of hours

    so dont go on the internet and post the failed creations of your challenged underdeveloped brain, go be a farmer in the countryside so you dont embarrass yourself anymore