Microsoft apologized for racially charged photo editing

  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sad that we still have to deal with this sort of thing, but I can only imagine how many times we see it every day and don't notice. Microsoft is publicly apologizing today for replacing a black man's head with that of a white man's on ad images intended for Poland. The shopped image has been pulled from the M$ Poland site, but I've yet to see any explanation for the behavior.

Source: PCWorld
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't know which is funnier, Microsoft thinking this wouldn't piss off some racial stereotype activists, or Microsoft thinking Poland would be too dumb to notice.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm more interested in who did the horrible Photochop. Can anyone say, "light source". Hahaha
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Post 3+ Months Ago

When you notice that the white head still has a black hand, the WTF factor goes up a bit. I saved a larger version of the image to my site here.
  • kc0tma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think they might have tried to fix the black hand problem, or at least try and cover up their lousy edit. When you look at the top and the bottom images, the chopped one is a little lighter like they played with the contrast or something.

I was thinking the same thing as dM, the shadow under the chopped head is pointing totally a different direction than the rest of the shadows.
  • UPSGuy
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Quote:
I think they might have tried to fix the black hand problem, or at least try and cover up their lousy edit.


hrmm...I don't know. You may be giving them too much credit. Looks pretty similar to me. Too bad I don't have PS here to confirm it with an overlay, but Color Picker grabbed the same RGB at same coordinates.

I used SnagIt to put them side by side and remove the heads to prevent any eye trickery. What ya think?

Image
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Are there even any black people in Poland ?

Let's have a look.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Poland

Quote:
Ethnic groups
Polish 96.7%, Silesian 0.5%, German 0.4%, Byelorussian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other 0.7%, not declared 2.0% (Census 2002)


Apparently not that many. This doesn't explain why they left the Asian looking guy in there though. Unless they were going for the Asians being smart stereotype thing. But why did they pick such a snakeoil salesman looking white guy ?

And why is it always a white woman you see in these racially diverse scenes ? Why is she always on a keyboard or typewriter ?

But most importantly, why the hell are they showing us these bozos to begin with, obviously the most important person in the room at the time is the person off camera that everyone is paying attention to. Why not just show that person ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
But most importantly, why the hell are they showing us these bozos to begin with, obviously the most important person in the room at the time is the person off camera that everyone is paying attention to. Why not just show that person ?


I don't pay the person up front any attention in my meetings - why should I treat theirs any differently? :) They just cut out the Exec who's blowing smoke up everyone's butt and showed us the people who are suffering through the meeting so that we could relate. Look at those fake smiles. IMO, they're trying to be nice while thinking "You have NO clue what you're talking about!"

Moot point anyways, I'm afraid. Woman's pointing what I assume is a laser pointer in that direction. (the image on my site has it cut off, but OP source has the full) I suppose she's leading the meeting.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You know, I unfortunately don't find it odd that they would try to alter the racial/ethnic content of the ad. In my career I've been asked many times to change stock photos because they were too caucasian or not caucasian enough.

What I find bizzare, however, is why they didn't just use a different piece of stock. I mean really, how many photos are there on iStock with a a group of corporate people equipped with prozacian smiles on their face?

Geeeez!
  • Jenie0109
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I can't understand why they have to edit the original photo. I think it is good to have diversity and in the photo it implies unity despite difference. I mean, we are all human beings that can think. Being black doesn't mean being anything less of a person.
  • Zwirko
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Maybe the Poles did it because they are not fans of racial discrimination?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I wonder how many people in Poland are black but in their census say they are polish. I knew a guy who had black skin and his parents were both black. His dad was adopted by two white church missionaries from an orphanage in Africa, so he had the last name Neufeld (or however it is spelled). He like to go around telling people he was German just to play with their heads.
  • mk27
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Jenie0109 wrote:
I can't understand why they have to edit the original photo. I think it is good to have diversity and in the photo it implies unity despite difference. I mean, we are all human beings that can think. Being black doesn't mean being anything less of a person.


It does imply a complete lack of ethics on MS's part. Like if a poll said they would have more success pushing software to neo-nazi child molesters if they would factor certain "harmless" elements into their advertising.

I imagine the non-racist portion of the Polish populace was sort of offended (or else laughing sadly and nodding)...
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

mk27 wrote:
It does imply a complete lack of ethics on MS's part. Like if a poll said they would have more success pushing software to neo-nazi child molesters if they would factor certain "harmless" elements into their advertising.

I imagine the non-racist portion of the Polish populace was sort of offended (or else laughing sadly and nodding)...


So you think this was the result of a company-wide policy at Microsoft? I was thinking it was probably the result of one over-zealous uner-educated marketoid - who works at Microsoft Poland. ;)
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Microsoft should release a neo-nazi child molester version of Windows and market it on extreme privacy and encryption to protect the rights of neo-nazis and child molesters.

I have faith in Microsofts ability to fumble, someone will forget to mention the HTTP User-Agent notes the operating system used by the visitor.
  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

haha - We now go live to joebert whos bringing us the latest installment of "To Catch a Windows Nazi/Predator".
  • dyfrin
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Man what is with people complaining..

I would have photoshopped that guy out too! He is ugly.

Not even a racial decision.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If he's ugly, then why not just hire an attractive person to pose for the photo in the first place?

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