You can’t blame any company for being proud of its safety program — perhaps so proud that it wants to put photos about its safety program on its company website. But, as a safety pro, would you allow those photos to be altered? And what if the company we’re talking about is BP?
John Aravosis’ Americablog first uncovered the altered photos on BP’s website of its crisis command center in Houston.
Someone cut and pasted three underwater images onto a wall of video feeds from remotely operated undersea vehicles.
Among the giveaways that someone used Photoshop:
- one image sticks down into the head of one of the people sitting in the control room
- there are jagged white lines showing the cut-and-paste job, and
- the side of one image hangs down below the area on which the video feeds were projected.
“I guess if you’re doing fake crisis response, you might as well fake a photo of the crisis response center,” Aravosis writes on his blog.
A BP spokesman told The Washington Post that this isn’t anything sinister. He said a photographer working for BP inserted the three images in spots where the video screens were blank.
BP has posted the original photo, without the cut-and-paste video images, on its website.
The controversy doesn’t stop there. An Americablog reader noticed that the meta info for the photo says it was created in 2001, not July 16, 2010 as claimed by BP.
And we’ll add our own question to the mix: After three months with the leaking oil well in the Gulf, BP couldn’t find one moment to take a photo when all the video screens were filled?
So, put yourself in this situation. To promote that “Safety is No. 1” at your company, someone in marketing has posted a photo on your company website that’s been Photoshopped to show an aspect of safety that wasn’t there at the time — maybe workers wearing hardhats are pasted onto a photo. Do you let it go or object?
And what about BP? Does this altered photo say something about the company, or is it really no big deal? Let us know in the Comments Box below.