Originally posted 07/22/2010.. Gulf Oil Spill Day 94
Earlier this week, BP was once again caught lying to the public, this time indirectly, through doctored images the oil giant has been posting across their official response website. Below is the altered picture of BP’s crisis command center, followed by what the company claims is the original. [I am hesitant to believe anything BP says.]
Let’s play a game of BP PhotoHunt! Can you find all the differences?
The Photoshopped Crisis Command Center Picture:
The Claimed “Original” Crisis Command Center Picture:
I’m sure you noticed that in the photoshopped picture, BP pasted three fake images on the screens that are blank in the original. These are monitors that show video feed sent to BP’s command center from their ROVs [remote-operated vehicles].
An AOL News article offers a few theories as to why BP chose to alter the images. One point they make is rather alarming: “BP has been criticized for suppressing damning underwater video footage from the public — specifically, footage that showed much more serious leaks than the company was admitting to during the days immediately following the Deepwater Horizon platform explosion on April 20.”
Could the blank screens in the “original” photo be hiding some of this evidence? The “original” may have been photoshopped itself [by someone more skilled], or the monitors could have intentionally been turned off before the picture was taken.
Below are two more pictures taken from the inside of a helicopter. Again, the first has been altered and was published on BP’s site, and the second is the original. BP PhotoHunt Round 2!
The Photoshopped Helicopter Picture:
The Original Helicopter Picture:
Did you see the differences? This Gawker article points them all out.. but it should be obvious that the picture was manipulated to make it look like the helicopter was really in the air.
So why does this really matter? Brian Barrett, the author of the Gawker post, does a great job of answering that question: “Obviously there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to BP. But every time they fabricate an image like this, it undermines whatever little credibility they have left, along with all of the actual documentation of the massive undertaking this has been and will continue to be. It speaks to a company still more concerned with image than reality, in charge of repairing something so terribly broken that we can’t afford to treat it with anything but total candor.”
Because of the controversy these images have caused, BP has recently come forward and admitted that they were altered. But, of course, they place the blame on the photographer, and not the company. On BP’s flickr page, they have released a set of doctored pictures and their original, as well as this statement: “BP’s photographic department uses Photoshop to edit images we post on the bp.com Gulf of Mexico Response web site. Typical purposes include color correction, reducing glare and cropping. In a few cases, cut-and-paste was also used in the photo-editing process. These cut-and-pasted images have been removed.”
All of this just goes to prove that BP is lying to the public and that they care about their image more than the environment.