Donald Trump Creates His Own ‘Fake News’ With Altered Social Media Photos

Donald Trump Creates His Own ‘Fake News’ With Altered Social Media Photos

Donald Trump, a president who often likes to use the phrase “fake news” to describe the media, has created a fake news scandal of his own after an article in Gizmodo revealed that several photos of the president have been altered by his digital team.

The alterations in the photos revealed that the president was often slimmed down, whether at the waist or at the neck. The edits didn't end there, however. Many times, fingers were elongated as well.

The edits weren't hard to find; the original photos were posted in the public domain on the White House’s official Flickr feed. You can see one of them here compared to the original:

Note the slimmed down neckline and waist. The Gizmodo article has a few more examples, making it clear this isn’t an isolated incident. Some of the changes are so small it's hard to spot, so there may be more out there.

While news organizations generally prohibit their photographers from these sorts of material edits in photos, there’s technically no sort of ethical guideline prohibiting these sorts of alterations from the White House. That said, this wasn't a common practice in previous administrations, and such a breach of accepted (if unwritten) photography ethics could erode the trust of viewers looking at images coming out of the White House and the government in general.

What’s crazy about all of this is that the edits aren't even that drastic. A tuck of the jacket there, a finger elongated there. It’s hard to see why some of these edits were even made.

Do you think it’s OK for the White House to digitally “slim down” and enhance the president? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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The image that you used as the lead image is the funniest to me because they made his hands bigger.

I know a lot of people who would love to photoshop their images to look slimmer or less sister photoshops her face so much she looks like a glowing blur. What I don't get is elongating that pointing finger.

I wonder how many people would have a completely different view and reaction to the article if it was President Hillary Clinton doing the same! lol