Last week, the men's lifestyle magazine GQ released this photo of Silicon Valley executives, including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, about their pilgrimage to a small Italian village, about Brunello Cucinelli's luxury to visit designer famous for his $ 1
But if you think something is wrong in this photo, you're right: A BuzzFeed News "investigation" shows that two female CEOs, Lynn Jurich and Ruzwana Bashir, were photographed in what was originally a photo with 15 men.
The doctor's photo, published on Cucinelli's own Instagram account on May 30, served as the main backdrop for GQ's June 4 story about the "Solomeo Summit," a visit to Italy's finest cashmere artisan from the "perhaps most untouched realm in the country." "Brunello is in many ways a Silicon Valley entrepreneur," said Nirav Tolia, co-founder of Nextdoor, to GQ. "There [were] in the group that do not wear Cucinelli, they do not care about the clothes, but they absolutely appreciate Brunello's track record as an entrepreneur."
His track record as an Instagrammer is somewhat more suspicious.
Read on Monday I found the GQ story about the tech trip to Cucinelli's village in Solomeo, Italy, and found the image somewhat suspicious. "Look at the two women in the photo.
At first glance, the woman in the back row, GQ identified Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich as a slightly pixelated face, her lighting and color scheme different from the rest of photography and her head does not match what is supposed to be her leg and foot Jurich was nowhere to be found on Cucinelli's opener Instagram post.
The appearance of a second woman on the far left of the group photo, identified by GQ as Peek CEO Ruzwana Bashir was also suspicious. In the picture, she has no contact with the other participants, while the lighting on the upper body and legs differs from the lighting patterns in the rest of the photo. It seemed to have been manipulated.
But why would someone do something so absurd? In my view, I believe that a men-only photo may not be the best look for a number of rich technology entrepreneurs, especially at a time when women and minorities in the industry are underrepresented. But why would anyone investigate a photo for such a low Instagram and lifestyle magazine article? Was the photo really manipulated to be more diverse? Or was that just a case of "Please Photoshop my friend in this family picture. They took it.
"I appreciate your commitment to the truth in this case. "
When I introduced my colleagues to my research on Slack, my efforts were mocked. "I appreciate your commitment to the truth in this case," joked one individual. "I think I'm going to become a GQ phototruther," said another.
Surprised, I searched for help on Twitter. On Tuesday, a user named @ z3dste told me that he created the photo from the GQ article with a free metadata analysis tool. Images taken with electronic devices often contain Exchangeable File Image Format (EXIF) data, which may include anything from the camera type to the exposure and GPS coordinates of the photo. (In 2012, the authorities found former software entrepreneur John McAfee, a refugee in Belize at the time, after a deputy journalist posted a photo on Facebook using EXIF location data.)
While photos metadata can be manipulated, the EXIF analysis that the GQ The photo, which was also released for Cucinelli's Instagram account, was changed in a 2019 version of Adobe Photoshop. This was not a smoking weapon – many photos are edited and polished in Photoshop before being published or printed – but at least it suggests that some of the elements in the photo have been professionally altered.
When I Arrived When Bashir, Jurich and the GQ PR team asked for the authenticity of the photo, Bashir did not answer and GQ's spokesman said they would contact me. Meanwhile, Jurich confirmed her participation in the meeting and said nothing about the photo itself.
The breakthrough came on Wednesday morning. Twitter user @benjymous ran the GQ photo on Google's reverse image search, which revealed a similar but not exactly identical photograph of 15 men – without Bashir or Jurich.
I have @benjymous & # 39; steps replicated and this photo on the LinkedIn account of Ferdinando de Bellis traced back. a Milan-based partner of Barabino & Partners, an Italian communications company that has worked for Cucinelli. Two weeks ago, de Bellis released the all-male image and the more open group photo on his LinkedIn to celebrate the visionaries who had visited Solomeo, including former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is not in any of the companies you can see photos, treated or otherwise. I e-mailed these new findings to GQ and sent questions to a Cucinelli spokesman.
Just over four hours after the original Twitter discovery, a Cucinelli representative sent me an explanation of what had happened.
"When we found out that we did not represent all participants. We added photos of two female CEOs who were shot over the weekend, "a spokesperson wrote to Buzzfeed News. "The photos were shared and approved by all attendees, including the two women Lynn Jurich and Ruzwana Bashir, before being posted on Instagram, and they shared the group photo on their own Instagram handles."
"We did not mean any Damage or I did this with malicious intent, and we are sorry. Cucinelli's Instagram biography states, "The eternal values of beauty, humanity, and truth are the ideal and the guide to all our actions."
The speaker asked why Bezos was not added to the photo along with Jurich and Bashir Amazon CEO declined the inclusion.
The photo has now been removed from the history of GQ, which has been updated with this addendum: "An image provided by a representative of Brunello Cucinelli and not conforming to GQ's editorial standards has been removed from this story ,
GQ gave BuzzFeed News an additional explanation stating that "the image was changed and GQ was not alerted. "
Twittersphere was smaller than willing to forgive, and for some it was a cheapfake rather than a deepfake, the perfect encapsulation in the tech industry, where there were problems in the industry Related to diversity is just a picture problem that can be solved with a quick fix. "Photoshop the change you want to see in the world" wrote a Twitter user.
The most appropriate comment however, may have been in the photo itself. Behind the executives is a sign with a quote to be attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci: "IO FARÒ UN'INVENZIONE, CHE SIGNIFICHERÀ GRANDI COSE"
His rough translation? "I'll make an invention that will mean big things."