New East Digital Archive

Now you see it: St Petersburg government in photoshopping gaffe

11 November 2016

Officials in St Petersburg are being mocked for using poorly photoshopped images to prove that they had carried out maintenance work… that residents claim never happened.

Last week one resident posted a request on the St Petersburg government’s website, asking that advertising stickers be cleaned from a lamp post. On Tuesday an official replied that the work had been completed, including a photo of the apparently newly cleaned lamppost.

Upon closer inspection, some decided that there was something decidedly fishy about the image.

“St Petersburg officials used Paint to clean adverts off the lamp post,” read the headline on Baltika FM website, making reference to the simple image editing programme from Microsoft. According to the Baltika FM report, officials used Paint’s “spray can” tool to cover over the stickers. When a reporter from the radio station visited the site of the alleged cleaning, he found the adverts still in place.

A high-ranking official from the traffic management department insisted that the work had, indeed, been done, suggesting that an “overzealous” employee may have felt the need to embellish the results. “In any place you can find a person who wants to present the situation in a better light than it really is. We will of course investigate,” Dmitry Popov told the radio station.

In response to the apparent gaffe by the city government, social media users decided to try their hand at photo-editing, with one user adapting the lamp post photo to make it sparkle. Another wrote, “I’m looking forward to the time in Russia when they will eradicate poverty, crime rate and unemployment with the help of Paint. Quick and easy.”

Source: BBC News