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[PHOTOS] Help, Someone Needs To Give The Chinese Government A Photoshop Course

Will the Chinese government ever learn? For the sake of the good people of China, we hope so. But we can't deny that it's a good source of amusement for us.

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How sweet and caring for these powerful Chinese politicians to visit a local centenarian... right?

How sweet of these Chinese politician to visit a local centenarian... right?

Image via huffpost.com

This photograph appears to show the world's four largest politicians visiting the world's tiniest centenarian. But don't be fooled. It's actually just the latest Photoshop fail by Chinese government officials.

huffingtonpost.com

What was supposed to be a nice, heartwarming picture of four Chinese government officials visiting an elderly woman in a sign of respect and caring for the people and giving back and all that ended up being another Photoshop nightmare for China where three giant men plus a floating disappearing half man creepily hover over a miniature-sized old woman. Man, someone needs to teach China how to use Photoshop.

gizmodo.com

The Chinese government has a very good explanation for this Photoshop fail

A doctored image of now-Premier Li Keqiang (center) from 2004 was included in a Xinhua slide show. (Xinhua)

Image via theatlantic.com

Published on the website for the Department of Civil Affairs in Ningguo City, located in the eastern Anhui province, the photo was apparently meant to depict Vice Mayor Wang Jun and other officials visiting a local centenarian during a festival. The Guardian has identified the elderly woman as Cheng Yanchun.

huffingtonpost.com

"Cheng was sitting on a chair on the balcony, under the sun. The balcony space was very small and the camera lens could not cover the whole scene … When the employee of the municipal civil affairs department uploaded the photos … he simply merged two shots," the government said.

theguardian.com

The person who stitched the ridiculous photo together told CCTV: "I thought this photo by itself didn't really represent the occasion. So I put the two pictures together. At the time I didn't think there would be such a big reaction."

gizmodo.com

The Chinese government has since deleted and apologized for the badly stitched image

A doctored image of now-Premier Li Keqiang (center) from 2004 was included in a Xinhua slide show. (Xinhua)

Image via theatlantic.com

But authorities deleted it, apologised and ordered an employee to write a self-criticism after they were deluged with mockery by internet users.

theguardian.com

Government officials have expressed their regrets over the debacle, and the employee responsible for the photo was required to apologize and write a "self-criticism report" about the botched job, according to The Guardian.

huffingtonpost.com

This is not the first time China featured floating, legless politicians

Here's what the photo actually shows: Local and provincial Chinese officials have developed a reputation in recent years for horribly photoshopped publicity photos.

washingtonpost.com

It seems like China has lots of floating politicians

Image via gawkerassets.com

Original image

Image via gawkerassets.com

Original image

Image via gawkerassets.com

China is trying really hard to show its politicians in a positive light

The image that started it all- three officials from Lihong, Sichuan, appear to be floating above the ground in this doctored image from June 26, 2011 (Huili County Government)

Image via theatlantic.com

There's a tendency to keep churning out releases showing officials in a positive light, which can be tough if those officials aren't actually making any good-will trips or are on some long-term vacation somewhere, as they often are.

washingtonpost.com

But this recurrence of badly doctored photographs seems unique to China, reflecting an evolving media culture in which a doddering propaganda machine is encountering an increasingly vigilant corps of web-savvy news readers.

theatlantic.com

The notion of a discerning readership remains fairly new in China, where web forums and microblogs have only emerged in the past handful of years. Editors there may still be unused to the idea that readers will notice their mistakes, particularly ones as obvious as bad photo doctoring, and thus find it easier to go through the motions.

theatlantic.com

But citizens are not buying into the fake photos, and has taken to social media to voice their dissatisfaction and ridicule

Citizens are not buying into the fake photos

Image via theatlantic.com

An image of officials in Sichuan floating above the road they were supposed to be inspecting prompted ridicule and numerous parodies from internet users.

theguardian.com

"Official fraud, making rumours, and there is no need to take responsibility? But a netizen whose post is forwarded 500 times has to take criminal responsibility," wrote one microblogger, Zhao Shimin.

theguardian.com

Others suggested the manipulation had actually captured a fundamental truth about officials, who appear to be giants beside Cheng.

"It truly portrays the social ecology: the image of officials is glorious, the people are small and humble! What a good [bit of] Photoshop; he is really talented!" wrote one, who called himself Big Ear Picture.

theguardian.com

Another suggested the officials were actually looking at real estate when they were pictured – presumably because of their enthusiastic expressions. A third sent round a spoof showing them gazing at a scantily clad young woman.

theguardian.com