Community & Education HKFP Buzz

It’s Frank, but is it honest? Fake-looking gov’t photo sparks Photoshop storm

Facebook users are remixing an official photo of Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan that appears to be badly photoshopped.

The photo of Chan was taken while he was inspecting Yan Tin Estate, a public housing development in Tuen Mun, and posted to the government’s website for official press releases.

frank chan tuen mun photoshop

The original photo. Photo; GovHK.

frank chan tuen mun photoshop

Photo: Facebook/upmud9.nu.

It attracted attention from Facebook users, who questioned whether the group of people in the photo had been digitally pasted onto a backdrop, and whether the government was posting “fake news.”

frank chan tuen mun photoshop

Photo: Facebook/upmud9.nu.

They started pasting the group onto various backgrounds, including the pyramids, an asteroid, a war zone, a scene from Japanese anime series Dragon Ball, and a strip club.

frank chan tuen mun photoshop

Netizen’s captions: “Which meal to get?” “Are there fishball noodles?” “No fishball noodles wor.” Photo: Facebook/upmud9.nu.

Some posted their analysis of where the original photo went wrong, saying the photographer’s flash was too strong.

frank chan tuen mun photoshop

Photo: Facebook/upmud9.nu.

“[I]t’s probably because the lighting technique is bad… seems like two different dimensions,” one wrote.

“The fill flash is so bad, maybe the photographer’s boss didn’t want a dark face,” another said.

frank chan tuen mun photoshop

Photo: Facebook/upmud9.nu.

Another posted a four-point analysis of visual clues showing that the photo was authentic, ending with “it was not worthwhile to photoshop this photo.”

frank chan tuen mun photoshop

Photo: Facebook/upmud9.nu.

The Transport and Housing Department said in a response to Ming Pao that the photo “was taken at the scene of the visit, and was not altered or processed in any way.”

It's Frank, but is it honest? Fake-looking gov't photo sparks Photoshop storm