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Someone In Central China Really Stinks At Photoshop

Local Chinese government propagandists have outdone themselves in what seems to be the increasingly competitive category of bad Photoshop.

This week's entry hails from Ningguo County in central China's Anhui province. The workmanship is so bad, it seems almost, well, effortless.

The photo, which was posted to the county's civil affairs website, purports to portray government officials visiting a 100-year-old woman. But the officials appear to be about 20 feet tall compared with the diminutive lady, and one of the officials has no legs.

Reviews on China's Internet, which often serves as a Greek chorus of ridicule these days, were predictably mocking. (Officials have since taken down the photo, apologized and issued an explanation.)

Last year, a photo purportedly showing officials from a district in the city of Hangzhou inspecting a park drew similar attention. The Photoshop job was so bad, the men appeared to levitate above a road and lawn.

One Chinese netizen, as Internet users are called here, summed it up succinctly: "The engineer who merged the picture is not skilled at Photoshop at all."

The Chinese have surpassed their North Korean allies, who are old pros at the art of bad Photoshopping.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.