CTV News picked up on an amusing story that developed on Twitter Wednesday night about Manitoba Government mailer gone wrong.
The interesting twitter exchange started with journalist Steve Lambert posted the following:
That structure in the bottom left corner probably does not look familiar to you. There is nothing quite like it in Winnipeg, and there are few other cities in Manitoba that could afford to build something extravagant like that. However, this is a mailer from the Manitoba NDP boasting about creating opportunities for young Manitobans, so surely those students must be in Manitoba, no?
Well no. The answer is no. The students are not in Manitoba. Journalist Bart Kives recognized the structure in the photo as the Vasca da Gama Tower in Lisbon Portugal:
This got me thinking about how a photo of supposed students lounging in Portugal found it’s way into Manitoba NDP promotional material.
There are some sites out there with free stock photos, or sometimes artists who post their work to http://www.deviantart.com give others permission to use it. There are also a great many stock photo sites where you can buy photos of literally anything … including fake students in Portugal.
Luckily the internet, while opening us up to the world, also gives us some sleuthing abilities. indeed, Google lets you search images, not just by word but by image!
Searching on the following …
… I was able to find what appears to be the original source: a Spanish online photo store called 123RF where for $100 you can download a high-res copy of the picture.
Please note: I AM NOT SAYING THE NDP STOLE THIS PICTURE. It just seems odd … I know the provincial government often hires professionals like McKim Group to produce material for them, but this is far too sloppy for them. They wouldn’t make the mistake of using a picture that is so obviously not from Manitoba.
More likely a low-rung staffer was tasked with putting this together, but why would they go to a photo web site that’s all in Spanish when there are hundreds of English ones? This is what makes me think they just found this image using a simple google search and downloaded.
Even if the purchase was legally purchased, it is still a very amusing thing that the government is promoting programs to help young Manitobans by showing pictures of guys in Portugal. I suppose it could have been worse ..
A person could have a lot of fun with this sort of thing, like creating your own NDP ad using other photos of the same kids …
.. and then there was this hilarious tweet from James Hope Howard:
A new submission: