Dr. Hany Farid, a professor of computer science and a digital forensics expert at Dartmouth, has developed a piece of software that will rate the extent to which photographs have been digitally altered on a scale of 1 to 5.
The website for the research states, "In recent years, advertisers and magazine editors have been widely criticized for taking digital photo retouching to an extreme. Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers. The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. In response, several countries have considered legislating the labeling of retouched photos.
“We’re just after truth in advertising and transparency,” Seth Matlins, a former talent agent and marketing executive, said. “We’re not trying to demonize Photoshop or prevent creative people from using it. But if a person’s image is drastically altered, there should be a reminder that what you’re seeing is about as true as what you saw in ‘Avatar’.”