Every digital image must be touched by software before you see it. But when each pixel is affected, who decides what is true?
The picture is gut-wrenching. It also tells the story. That’s why we chose to run it
Feminists in France are demanding that a statue based on Alfred Eisenstaedt‘s iconic ‘VJ-day in Times Square’ photo be taken down. They say that the original image it was based on is one that portrays sexual assault.
Its unusual composition and the fact that the militants’ silhouettes seem out of proportion to other elements led some AFP clients to call the agency to check it was real. Of course, it was.
So Google’s algorithms took the two similar photos and created a moment in history that never existed, one where my wife and I smiled our best (or what the algorithm determined was our best) at the exact same microsecond, in a restaurant in Normandy.
The episode “should be treated like a sex crime, a privacy invasion taken to an extreme,” said Jules Polonetsky, executive director of the Future of Privacy Forum, an advocacy group based in Washington. “Sites allowing the sharing of these pictures can and should be taking proactive action to remove these pictures.”