Park Geun-hye’s campaign team are once again the most-talked about thing on the internet as a doctored photo of a Saenuri Party rally that inflated crowd numbers was circulated in South Korean online communities, causing controversy and attracting thousands of comments from netizens.
On Saturday afternoon, Park presented herself to vast crowds in Gwanghwamun, for a major rally 9 days before Koreans take to the polls. However, scandal erupted on Sunday morning as it emerged a photo originally published by news company News1 was doctored by someone to show artificially enchanced numbers in the attending crowds (see above).
Last month, Park’s campagin team threatened a satirist with legal action for painting a pitcure of her giving birth to her father and, just yesterday, TIME magazine was forced to change the headline of a Park Geun-hye cover story to ‘Dictator’s Daughter’, after the Saenuri Party claimed the use of the word ‘strongman’ meant ‘strong leader’.
Many have atrributed the doctoring of the photo to the Saenuri Party itself, and the news will come as a blow to Park and her campaign as it tries hard to shake off her ‘Daughter of a Dictator’ image.
It is not clear if Park’s campaign team were directly behind the doctored photo, or if the netizen who uploaded the image was acting alone. Nevertheless, netizens have found both outrage and humour in the incident, likening it to the practises of a dictatorship not so far away:
And of course these blasts from the past:
Controversy Over Doctored Photo of Park Geun-hye’s Gwanghwamun Rally
Press photo randomly doctored to increase the crowds
While Saenuri Party candidate Park Geun-hye and Democratic United Party candidate Moon Jae-in came together on the 8th in Gwanghwamun Square for a large-scale ‘Joint Campaign Event in Seoul’ in order to garner popularity, manipulated photos of the gathered crowd quickly spread online community, attracting concern.
One photo showing candidate Park Geun Hye’s campaign event at 2pm in Gwanghwamun Square yesterday caused much controversy within the online community after an anonymous netizen enlarged the size of the crowd.
In the original photo, while there are chiefly crowds gathered only to the south of the statue of King Sejong the Great, as well as around the left-side steps of the Sejong Centre for the Performing Arts, in the doctored photos, it looks as if there is a crimson crowd [supporters of Park wear red] in all directions around the statue of Sejong, filling Gwanghwamun square, and crowds surrounding the entire Sejong Centre for the Performing Arts.
In particular, due poor photoshopping, part of the statue’s shoulder is missing and there is a difference with the number of cars passing from Gwanghwamun in the direction of City hall.
With regards to the scandal, News1 made an announcement via ‘News1’s position on the fabricated Gwanghwamun campaign picture,’ saying, ‘We have not disclosed any photoshopped pictures,’ and ‘We will track down the details and dissemination routes, and hold the culprits responsible.’
The news sparked a big reaction from netizens after an image comparing the original picture and the composite one was uploaded to an online community.
Some Netizens criticized the making of composite pictures of a certain candidate’s campaigning, saying, “It’s really anachronistic,” “It’s not that surprising. I assumed they faked it or paid someone to do it. The problem is those people accepting news without doubting it,” “It’s somewhat childish so I can’t help cringing.”
Since the news photo is copyrighted by the newspaper however, the culprits could potentially be punished for using it without the consent of the newspaper under the Copyright Law and the Public Official Election Act
Comments from Daum:
Those bird-head bastards at the Saenuri Party would conquer the world through fabrication. Tut tut. Are you proud of the victory this doctoring has got you?
Park Geun-Hye and the Saenuri Party must have been pretty desperate…. But this is way over the top… The public will make a wise decision….
Those who try to fool the people by using the picture and the likes, wake up to your conscience!
I was suspicious of it because I saw grannies and granpas waving the same flag.
King Sejong’s shoulder has been cut out~ huh huh huh Should we laugh or cry at this. How the hell does this group of people end up doing this kind of thing? Park said she would campaign at the City Hall, and suddenly changed the venue to Gwanghwamun to interfere with Moon’s campaign. The photo and number of participants were doctored. I witnessed it yesterday and would say there were double the number of people around Moon [compared with those around Park] but on the news Park was reported to have attracted more people. The evidence lies in the police estimate (after the news was aired, the police estimated more people have come for Moon.)
It’s no news, they’ve been doing that all the time.
I was there at 03:08PM and watched those old folks waving the national flag; it was nothing like this picture! It’s so absurd I’m at a loss for words.
It doesn’t make sense that there were this many people fighting the cold weather with their fragile bodies ke ke
The Masters of Manipulation, aka the Saenuri Party.
Forgery, manipulation are not something to bother their conscience. They’re so rotten to the core, resorting only to deception. They’re a bunch of unbelievably ridiculous people.
You just have no limits, do you? tsk tsk You’ve only picked up on bad habits, you evil bitch!
I vow to vote.
They’re corrupt through and through…. They employ grannies in their campaigns, fabricate stuff and deceive [the public]…. That party wants the public to become corrupt with them. What’s the use of a new name? [the ruling party changed its name from the Grand National Party to the Saenuri Party in an attempt to refresh its image]… They’re rotten to the heart anyway.
It’s SO unfair. We can’t compete with their epic skills of deception.
Comments from Nate:
I was there around 3 o’clock. There were many people on stairs of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, but there wasn’t anyone at the Sejong statue.. How dare they try and fool us, even though we’ve got a plenty of witnesses! They’re out of their mind.
I personally think the poll results have also been doctored.
Ten days to the election. Let’s vote!
I think the media election poll results are fabricated as well.
Isn’t it so predictable, what it’s gonna be like if she gets elected? Just like the guy who promised to boost the economy [alluding to current president Lee Myung-bak].
There are ten days left until the election on the 19th. Let’s be sure to cast our precious votes that decide the President.
I hear the Ilbe [conservative online community] bugs coming
Just like North Korea lol
Those who believe that Park Chung-Hee has improved the economy, please search for the Fraser report [original title: Investigation of Korean-American relations, by US House of Representatives]. Your fantasy about Park will be shattered. The report shows how blatantly what an evil person Park was. The secure document ‘Fraser report’, recently released in US, contains every facet of Park’s dirty identity. You’d know why Park Geun-Hye shouldn’t be the president if you read the report [Here's the report].
All that Miss Park and the Birdhead Party can do is lie and deceive. It’s common knowledge. Manipulating an election campaign picture is somewhat ‘benign.’
HA! I knew it! They haven’t changed a bit since they were caught bribing people for parliamentary seats. They’re still the same old group of con artists.
There’s no benefit in slandering and fighting each other here. Let’s be sure to vote for the candidate we support on the 19th.
It’s not the 70s or 80s anymore. Man~ I’m embarrassed about other countries seeing this. Shame on you. The Queen [Park Geun-hye] is even acting like this before the election, are people really going to vote for her?