Home Microsoft’s Photoshop Blunder: Racist or Shortsighted?

Microsoft’s Photoshop Blunder: Racist or Shortsighted?

Microsoft doctored a stock image to appeal to its Polish customers by literally whitewashing the color from one of the photo’s subjects. While US web visitors were greeted by 3 racially diverse business people, Polish visitors saw one man replaced by a Caucasian doppelganger. And it was so poorly done we wondered if it was a joke. The Polish site now bears the original US image, but the damage has been done. Said CNET’s Ina Fried, “Although Microsoft would be within reason to use a different photo on its Polish site–the country is very racially homogeneous–the company is coming under significant criticism.”

The braniac that signed off on this obviously didn’t think about the racism discussion on this week’s launch of Ghettotweets or the anger that ensued after the Japanese “underclass” Google map was released. By quietly trying to conceal a man’s race, Microsoft has inadvertently made race an issue.

While the decision to change the image may have simply been due to someone trying to save a few hundred dollars on stock photography, the marketing blunder has extremely negative public implications.

Does racism exist in even the most progressive companies? Absolutely. But was Microsoft’s decision to change this particular image racist or just shortsighted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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