Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests on July 1 attracted tens of thousands of supporters who marched across the city, opposing the Chinese government’s efforts to exert more control on the special administrative region. In China, some local media outlets reported that pro-mainland supporters had also held mass demonstrations, with a reported 500,000-strong gathering.
According to Business Insider, some sharp-eyed netizens realized that the so-called pro-mainland supporters didn’t actually come out in such big numbers -- far from it. Highlighted in the photo, it’s clear that not only was the turn out much smaller than 500,000, but also many people in the picture have been photoshopped in.
This isn’t the first time Chinese media have been caught photoshopping news images. Last year, the deputy mayor of the central Chinese city of Ningguo, located in Anhui province, was depicted visiting one elderly resident whose ghostly figure was clearly superimposed into the photo. The photo sparked an onslaught of ridicule and criticism toward not only the government official, but also the newspaper, relentlessly mocking the skills of the photo editor.
One Hong Kong-based reporter going by the Twitter handle @cloudyip commented on the most recent Photoshop fail, saying, “They have to make it 500k man, but don’t have the budget to hire a 500k cast.”