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The dangers of Google image search
September 11, 2012 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Be careful about using Google to find media for your big presentation. You might end up offering a tribute to US veterans while standing in front of a gigantic picture of four warships which belong to the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (68 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay, this made me laugh out loud.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:57 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This kind of fuckup has happened before.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:59 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hah!
posted by ColdChef at 4:00 PM on September 11, 2012


Maybe the Dems are weak on national defense if they can't differentiate American and Russian boats...
posted by Renoroc at 4:00 PM on September 11, 2012


I knew these guys were Commie stooges!
posted by brundlefly at 4:01 PM on September 11, 2012


Or giving your acceptance speech in front of a picture of Walter Reed Middle School.
posted by octothorpe at 4:02 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh big deal. Boats are boats. And now, please rise for the national anthem.

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé.

posted by griphus at 4:04 PM on September 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


Oops.
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on September 11, 2012


But they did secure the rights to use that photo, right??????
posted by aubilenon at 4:06 PM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ugh. Just... ugh!
posted by bpm140 at 4:06 PM on September 11, 2012


No less fake than other patriotic backdrops.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:08 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


“An immediate apology [from the committee] would be very nice,” Barker said. “Maybe acknowledge the fact that yes, they screwed up.”

Why? Was this man personally wronged by the display of a photograph that does not show what the context of the event would imply that it would show?
posted by hafehd at 4:10 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


But we're all friends these days, right? The many thousands of nuclear missiles we still have pointed at each other are mere courtesy details.

Or have we agreed not to talk about the global Armageddon that's still a few minutes away from actually happening?
posted by Devonian at 4:11 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe they were trying to add some first-person perspective.
posted by perhapses at 4:19 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Was this man personally wronged by the display of a photograph that does not show what the context of the event would imply that it would show?

Well, if you're honoring people who choose to put their life on the line for their country, you should at least make sure the photos you are using to exemplify their valor aren't of the biggest composing part of a country we were at war with for the better part of the 20th century.
posted by griphus at 4:19 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


You'd think the DNC could call the Navy Press office for an official stock photo, not have to slum it on Google image search.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:20 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think we all owe a big, posthumous apology to Senator Joe McCarthy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:21 PM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm a solid Dem, but: that sucks.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:23 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is like when the USPS put the Las Vegas statue of liberty on a stamp instead of the one in New York.
posted by stopgap at 4:23 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


You'd think the DNC could call the Navy Press office for an official stock photo, not have to slum it on Google image search.

Or a proper stock photography agency.
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is like when the USPS put the Las Vegas statue of liberty on a stamp instead of the one in New York.

Actual liberty vs. a show of liberty? I kind of like that one.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:28 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


“The ships are definitely Russian,” said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event.

I like how they stress high resolution. It implies a sort of frantic urgency that's almost as funny as the initial SNAFU itself. If you're the sort of person who has a copy of Jane's on their nightstand (and I'll bet that Mr. Polmar is) you could probably glance briefly at the antenna configuration in a picture someone took of the TV broadcast with their cell phone and, if not identify the specific ships, at least identify their class.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:30 PM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Not the first time pieces of the Russian fleet have been sighted on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:30 PM on September 11, 2012


This is the sort of thing that should be forgotten in a day. Instead, it'll become huge Fox News fodder, an "insult" to vets, ammo for conspiracy theorists...and on and on. This world can be ridiculous.
posted by davebush at 4:30 PM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I vote the next time we need to honor our veterans we do it by working to make their profession obsolete in the future. I look forward to a future where glory shots of gigantic taxpayer-impoverishing military expenditures are just as bizarre if they are of US origin as of Russian.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:31 PM on September 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


This is the sort of thing that should be forgotten in a day. Instead, it'll become huge Fox News fodder, an "insult" to vets, ammo for conspiracy theorists...and on and on. This world can be ridiculous.

I agree, but let's call our memory back to Dick Cheney in the puffy parka and boots, or Wolfowitz' socks, or Clint Eastwood and the chair, or any of a number of other things that should be forgotten in a day but go on and on due to political ridiculousness. The best thing that could happen to the DNC is that FoxNews gets fixated on this dumb thing and forgets about the ridiculous voice vote with the predetermined outcome at the DNC.
posted by The World Famous at 4:35 PM on September 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


Note: while I regard the military as an extremely unfortunate compromise we make as a society, I do respect that people have made considerable sacrifices to maintain that compromise on my behalf.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:35 PM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


The original can be found at Shutterstock: "Row of military ships against marine sunset". The photographer is Vakhrushev Pavel. The photo was taken at the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine.
posted by RichardP at 4:36 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's kind of amazing to me that this is a world where you can claim that cutting the budget will increase jobs, and nobody will argue with you. But put the wrong country's ships on a photo background and they will be instantly on your case.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:36 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yo! Design monkeys! READ THE DESCRIPTIONS!
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This happens all the time. Who can forget a certain terrorist showing up on posters at a pro-Bert rally?
posted by ckape at 4:41 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, at least the internet is still good for downloading national anthems for award ceremonies.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:41 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's kind of amazing to me that this is a world where you can claim that cutting the budget will increase jobs, and nobody will argue with you.

I don't know what world you live in, but in my world there are always people willing to argue with you.
posted by The World Famous at 4:42 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe I should rephrase that as "many people will take you seriously," even if the things you're proposing make no sense. But stand in front of the wrong photo (even if it's a mistake only experts can identify) and suddenly it's a huge mistake.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:46 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This hits pretty close to home. I'm in the presentation business and work with and for some major corporate clients. Most of our clients require that we carry professional liability insurance in case something like this were to happen. Thankfully we have never had to tap that policy as we try and vet our source material BEFORE it hits the screen. A proper stock photo agency would be my first choice, ( always read the entire description) Google is always the last choice. You would be surprised at how many intelligent people who would never steal a candy bar have no issue grabbing and using unauthorized content in their presentations without even a second thought. You would also be surprised at how unhappy they get when we tell them they can't use it. Oh and for the love of god people! If your going to insist on showing up late and using YOUR computer rather than the one we supply turn your screen savers off before presenting! Doesn't matter if it's LOLCATS or Hooters calender girls.....unless your speaking about those subjects it has no place popping up on the screen during your Q&A.
posted by HappyHippo at 4:47 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


The original can be found at Shutterstock: "Row of military ships against marine sunset".

That matches the article's description pretty well, but it doesn't appear to have "seven aircraft streaking by."
posted by stopgap at 4:53 PM on September 11, 2012


I make a pretty good living in corporate communications using my uncanny ability to catch shit like this before it's too late. It's amazing how clueless most people are about..everything.
posted by punkfloyd at 5:06 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Between this and the ridiculous God vote, it's just one facepalm after another for the folks at the DNC.

Why bother with the giant slide shows at all? It's just one more thing to fuck up, and besides, they're tacky as hell.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:07 PM on September 11, 2012


Mister President, we must not allow a gaffe gap.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:16 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


stopgap, if you go to the original article and click on the image for a closeup, you can see that the Shutterstock image is an exact match. The aircraft are from a separate image that was composited into the scene.
posted by RichardP at 5:18 PM on September 11, 2012


Of course Romney can't complain... He's paid the same amount of taxes to fund both navies.
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hard not to see this as payback for the bullshit "we're more militaristic than you" macho posturing the Dems did on the final night. Greenwald nailed it with his usual scathing certainty:

Leading this orgy of chest-beating, we're-more-bellicose-than-you, nationalistic strutting was, ironically, the 2004 GOP's prime victim of it: Democratic Senator John Kerry. Kerry's speech exploited virtually every theme of patriotism and militarism that was used against him eight years ago, and he did so with great efficacy...

Kerry, to the delight of the crowd, strongly insinuated that Romney harbors disrespect for the sacred American troops (that is: our brave men and women in uniform)...


That was some seriously fucked-up jingoistic shit going on that night. Yeah, yeah, it's politically marvelous that the Dems get to do it now and shore up those "soft on security" defenses with outraged attacks on the lack of support for the troops coming from the other side, but jesus that was some seriously unseemly shit to cringe through.

Payback: bitch.
posted by mediareport at 5:29 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, that's embarrassing.
posted by theora55 at 6:03 PM on September 11, 2012


I can already envision the frothing rightwing email forward that will show up on Snopes next week. And the hell of it is they'll have to grade at least part of it as true.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:13 PM on September 11, 2012


Oh the subtlety.

It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.

I mean, that's just a brilliant sentence. How or Why? Black fleet! It's just so perfectly nuanced to provoke the faintest of thoughts that the Democratic Party has a reason to display the Russian Black Fleet. And next, their secret polar ice base will be unveiled!
posted by lazaruslong at 6:30 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are certain news items which make a login to facebook unwise. This is one of them.
posted by maxwelton at 6:30 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


And next, their secret polar ice base will be unveiled!

The Democratic National Committee running its operations out of a secret polar ice base would be the funniest sit-com ever.
posted by The World Famous at 6:33 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


You would also be surprised at how unhappy they get when we tell them they can't use it.

I used to work in marketing for a corporate law firm and I had to tell IP attorneys that I wasn't going to use images we had no rights to.
posted by desjardins at 6:56 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


griphus writes "you should at least make sure the photos you are using to exemplify their valor aren't of the biggest composing part of a country we were at war with for the better part of the 20th century."

Did the US and Russia ever actually declare war against each other?

HappyHippo writes "You would be surprised at how many intelligent people who would never steal a candy bar have no issue grabbing and using unauthorized content in their presentations without even a second thought. "

It's like theft and copyright infringement are two totally different crimes.
posted by Mitheral at 7:00 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh and for the love of god people! If your going to insist on showing up late and using YOUR computer rather than the one we supply turn your screen savers off before presenting!



Sadly, most people just don't understand that if the wrong thing has any opportunity to show up on the screen at the wrong time, it absolutely will.

And if you screw that up, there is nowhere to hide. Your cock-up is on The Big Screen, EVERYONE will know.

And if anyone is taking pictures or video? That moment will most assuredly be captured for posterity. EVERYONE WILL KNOW FOREVER.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:36 PM on September 11, 2012


Kerry's speech exploited virtually every theme of patriotism and militarism that was used against him eight years ago, and he did so with great efficacy.

Ugh. I still remember his salute and cringe-worthy "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty" from the 2004 Convention. Democrats ain't good at that shit, and I consider that a virtue. Apparently they haven't gotten the memo.
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:37 PM on September 11, 2012


The original can be found at Shutterstock

Wow, they actually paid for photos of military stuff? That makes it even more embarrassing. That's like the one kind of media you definitely don't have to pay for.
posted by XMLicious at 7:46 PM on September 11, 2012


This is a silly screw-up and the Dems should be laughed at for it. To me the real screw up is the (linked upthread) playing of the wrong Kazak national anthem. You would think that years of planning and billions of dollars spent could manage to put a useable copy of every national anthem in every broadcast and announcing booth.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:51 PM on September 11, 2012


Hard not to see this as payback for the bullshit "we're more militaristic than you" macho posturing the Dems did on the final night.

Where's all the payback for decades of GOP macho posturing? Kerry borrows from the GOP playbook and suddenly the democratic party has bad karma for it? I disagree; that's pretty hard to see for me.
posted by Edgewise at 8:39 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where's all the payback for decades of GOP macho posturing?

We just had 8 years of it, man. Pay attention!
posted by The World Famous at 8:47 PM on September 11, 2012


This wasn't even the biggest fuck up of the convention. You'd think the Republicans would be more excited over having finally discovered the evidence of Democratic voter fraud they're always complaining about.
posted by homunculus at 9:42 PM on September 11, 2012


Hard not to see this as payback for the bullshit "we're more militaristic than you" macho posturing the Dems did on the final night.

How 9/11 Made Democrats More Like Republicans
posted by homunculus at 9:43 PM on September 11, 2012


I served six years in the Navy under the Clinton administration, the briefest of glances was enough to tell that the ships in that picture never flew the Stars & Stripes. That level of apathy seems almost willful. For reference, the Navy History & Heritage center center has a wide variety of photos of USS's available for free.
posted by area45 at 10:29 PM on September 11, 2012


[A couple of comments deleted; snarky comments on Glenn Greenwald's private life is a weird derail here.]
posted by taz at 11:36 PM on September 11, 2012


" Did the US and Russia ever actually declare war against each other?"

Yes, actually, the United States mounted two invasions of the Soviet Union that are largely forgotten about in the west, but still bitterly remembered in Russia.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:40 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


There was also plenty of fighting-by-proxy (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan.)
posted by griphus at 7:17 AM on September 12, 2012


> Yes, actually, the United States mounted two invasions of the Soviet Union that are largely forgotten about in the west, but still bitterly remembered in Russia.

You've answered a question that wasn't asked. Did the US and Russia ever actually declare war against each other? Answer: No.
posted by languagehat at 7:39 AM on September 12, 2012


"You've answered a question that wasn't asked. Did the US and Russia ever actually declare war against each other? Answer: No."

While there was no clean process for the Bolsheviks to formally declare war in the neat imperialistic sense that was the fashion of the time, the Bolsheviks did repeatedly, consistently and vociferously declare themselves and the Russian SFSR to be in a state of war with the United States. Similarly, while the United States never formally declared war against the Bolshevik movement, the Russian SFSR, or the Soviet Union through its constitutionally mandated format - which would later bite Wilson in the ass in a bunch of different ways - despite Wilson's mumblings otherwise the United States was indeed in a de facto state of war directly with the Russian SFSR. Even Lloyd George, PM of the UK at the time, said so.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:32 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've got to agree that while no one filed the proper forms and got them stamped with the correct stamp (though since that's a quintessentially twentieth-century thing it does lend an appropriate atmosphere to the issue when noted) it would not appropriately depict the adversarial relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to imply that the Cold War wasn't a real state of war because there wasn't an official declaration.
posted by XMLicious at 10:01 AM on September 12, 2012


I must be old-fashioned. When someone asks "Did the US and Russia ever actually declare war against each other?" I assume they're asking about, yes, an actual declaration of war. Nobody's denying they were hostile to each other for decades.
posted by languagehat at 10:59 AM on September 12, 2012


You could also assume that the person asking the question was literally talking only about an independent Russian nation that would even be able to declare war on its own in the first place, and say that hence any response involving the Soviet Union is moot. But I think the question was at least a tad rhetorical and it's okay to not feel strictly bound to talk about what happened in diplomatic channels, since we are after all discussing the military personnel and not the diplomats in this case.
posted by XMLicious at 11:44 AM on September 12, 2012


The DNC just apologized for the mistake. They blamed it on a "vendor mistake".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:12 PM on September 12, 2012


Now it's reported that the jets included in that photo montage belonged to Turkey.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:03 PM on September 17, 2012


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