For a long time, the fantastic ineptitude of the Chinese government when it comes to photo manipulation — with emphasis on manipulation — has been the gift that kept on giving. Government officials floating in the air, giant politicians surrounding a hobbit-sized old lady, half men, and extra shadows are just some of the delights the People's Republic has given us recently. But now, heartbreakingly, this source of never-ending joy might be coming to an end: the Communist Party is looking to hire a Photoshop expert.
To fix the problem of endemic Photoshop failure, it's reported that the China's government has awarded funding to research teams at major universities, whose experts will help authorities to determine whether a photo has been altered. In China, it's standard practice to digitally alter photographs for propaganda purposes, but it's pretty surprising that the Communist Party haven't tried to hire an expert earlier, given the amount of ridicule that their fails have attracted on the global Web.
Still, we're unsure why they felt they needed to hire university professors to check for fakery. Do you need a professional to tell you that this, for example, didn't happen in real life?
It's pretty sad, really — an end of an era. Just look at this example of what might soon be a closed chapter in Chinese history.
One might even say that this is nothing short of art. (Tip: look for the mysterious extra shadows.)
Going through gems like these while on payroll must indeed be the most rewarding job in China... well, ever since that security company tried to hire a "chief porn identification officer" earlier this year. (Yup, that involved getting paid to watch and "identify" porn.) FYI: pornography is illegal in China.
What has the Photoshop parade done to this little old woman?!
Plus, the Chinese government doesn't actually need any new watchdogs. The Chinese netizens are already doing a fabulous job of spotting and making fun of the propaganda, and they've given us mock-ups like this.
Not that that's very popular, though. Mostly in vain, the government usually tries to censor any memes on Sina Weibo.
Remember, this is the country where government officials are systematically blackmailed by disgruntled citizens, by manipulating the official's face into pornographic images. Unsurprisingly, this is unpopular, to the extent that local government had to put up signs warning people not to do it. Hee hee.
Anyway, R.I.P, Chinese Photoshop. From now on, North Korea might be our only hope for failed Photoshop glory.