Report: Disinformation and Democracy

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  Further Tools: Photography

Art has always contributed a lot to disinformation.
Many modern tools for disinformation are used in art/photography.
Harold D. Lasswell once stated that propaganda was cheaper than violence. Today this is no longer true. Technology has created new tools for propaganda and disinformation - and they are expensive. But by now our possibilities to manipulate pictures and stories have gone so far that it can get difficult to tell the difference between the original and a manipulation.

Trillions of photographs have been taken in the 20th century. Too many to look at, too many to control them and their use. A paradise for manipulation.
We have to keep in mind: There is the world, and there exist pictures of the world, which does not mean that both are the same thing. Photographs are not objective, because the photographer selects the part of the world which is becoming a picture. The rest is left out.

Some tools for manipulation of photography are:

Some of those are digital ways of manipulation, which helps to change pictures in many ways without showing the manipulation.

Pictures taken from the internet could be anything and come from anywhere. To proof the source is nearly impossible. Therefore scientists created on watermarks for pictures, which make it impossible to "steal" or manipulate a picture out of the net.

browse Report:
Disinformation and Democracy
-3   Racism on the Internet
-2   Disinformation and Science
-1   Kyoko Data
0   Further Tools: Photography
+1   Exchange of the Text
+2   The Gulf War
+3   The Kosovo-Crisis
The retouch is the simplest way to change a picture. Small corrections can be made through this way.
A well-known example is the correction of a picture from a Bill Clinton-visit in Germany. In the background of the photograph stood some people, holding a sign with critical comments. In some newspapers the picture was printed like this, in others a retouch had erased the sign.
Another example happened in Austria in 1999:
The right wing party FPÖ had a poster for the Parliamentarian elections which said: 1999 reasons to vote for Haider. Others answered by producing a retouch saying: 1938 reasons to not vote for Haider (pointing to the year 1939, when the vast majority of the Austrians voted for the "Anschluss" to Germany).