20 April, 2011


Something fishy going on?

The Yorkshire Post has a piece on a recent EDL appearance in Halifax. Business as usual stuff, but look at the accompanying photograph, reproduced below

You will notice the EDL chappy in the green hoodie, centre right, who appears to be giving a "Hitler salute". Alerted by a reader comment,

Lion of Judah
Monday, April 18, 2011 at 01:55 PM

#4 Obviously the truth cannot be accepted by you as it would shatter your false illusions as to who is really to blame for stirring up strife in the community. I stand by absolutely every word I said. It is absolutely factual. By the way it is a very, very cheap trick by the photojournalist concerned to use a single micro-framed shot to suggest a Nazi salute when no such salutes were given. Think about it for a moment. If the EDL is so keen NOT to appear to be associated with Nazis in any way why in heaven's name would they then perform Nazi salutes right in front of the police and media cameras? The fact is they didn't. The whole tenor of this press article - both in its wording and in its pathetic use of selective micro-framed shots to insinuate a negative image - as well as the local news blackout re. the horrendous attack upon the Courtyard pub in Halifax last week - shows that people really are being force-fed a distorted propagandised version of "community cohesion" and that those who dare to address such propogandised version's shortcomings will be demonised accordingly.

(My emphasis)

I downloaded and examined the photograph more closely. Here is the detail (apologies — linked image is 500KB to retain detail).

Examine the linked image. Note the distinct straight boundaries around the hooded figure who is enclosed in an obvious rectangle which has no relationship to the subject. Note the confused transition at the left, where the parts of the image do not match cleanly. The raised black-sleeved arm to the left of the hooded gent seems not to be connected to anybody.

I'm no expert on digital photography or indeed on JPEG artifacts, but this picture looks to me, in my inexpert ignorance, as if it's been faked, overlaying an unrelated image of a siegheiling individual onto the genuine picture of the EDL demonstration. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen that "sub-image" before.

Naughty. Very naughty.

If we can't believe the photographs in a major regional newspaper with an honourable history, just what can we believe?

I don't think it is doctored, it just seems to be an imperfection in the picture maybe.
There is another shot here, taken from a different angle and showing the same chap in a different pose.
It could be photoshopped but I wouldn't credit local journalists with that kind of skill.

I rather suspect you're right. To the limited extent that I understand the JPEG format, which is barely at all, it identifies and compresses areas of the picture opportunistically, rather than doing simple run length encoding along individual rows as some earlier formats did. This might lead to interesting coincidental rectangular artifacts, particularly at very high compression — the Yorkshire Post picture was only 31K.

I don't know about the limited skill of "local journalists" though, the Yorkshire Post is fairly high up the food chain; it's a Guardian that stayed in its hometown rather than moving to London.

It seems strange, though, that the rectangular artifact should be over the place where the "saluter's" other arm would have been had he outstretched his arms out and forwards.

I don't think he was photoshopped into the image but I can see why a suitably cynical person might conclude that the image of the other outstretched arm was doctored or removed.

Mind you, equally easy to make a genuine picture look doctored to allow another interpretation.


Yes that interpretation — an innocent pair of outstretched arms converted into a guilty single-armed siegheil by deletion — that did occur to me. Much easier to achieve too.

I think I'll get me tinfoil hat and sit under the stairs for a while.

The thing that does puzzle me is the obsession of the Righteous with Hitler salutes. I wonder if they've ever considered the possibility that some of these "far-right" types that they "catch" siegheiling are not expressing allegiance to the Nazis but simply taking the piss out of their opponents.

If somebody kept calling me a Nazi, I can see the temptation of responding with an ironic Sieg Heil. In fact 30 or 40 years gesture was quite common as a way of expressing, "You are getting above yourself and exceeding your actual authority".

EG - I was imagining the Yorkshire post in the same light as my local reg, The Lancashire Telegraph. They're like a bunch of primary school kids. I stand corrected.

'In fact 30 or 40 years gesture was quite common as a way of expressing, "You are getting above yourself and exceeding your actual authority".'

Spot on Edwin- as I recall the other arm would often be usefully employed in applying an item (eg a comb) in the region of the upper lip as a simulacrum of Hitler's 'toothbrush' 'tache

Back in the 70s anti-NF protestors frequently seig-heiled our opponents - although I'm never sure we were using the correct arm.

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