Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales: News agencies recall photo citing manipulation concerns



CNN

Several major news outlets have retracted an image distributed by Kensington Palace showing Catherine, Princess of Wales, and her children, saying they believe the photo was manipulated.

There is a photo The first officially released picture of the princess Since he underwent stomach surgery in January, there has been intense public speculation and social media conspiracy theories about his exact whereabouts and health for weeks.

The image was released on Sunday, along with a message from the princess for the public's support as the United Kingdom marks Mother's Day. CNN has reached out to Kensington Palace for comment.

An initial CNN review of the image identified at least two areas that may show some evidence of possible tampering, including Princess Charlotte's sleeve cuff and a zipper on the left side of the Princess of Wales' jacket.

CNN continues to use the original photo with the correct caption in the context of its alleged manipulation of the debate.

All three major international news agencies have said they have found evidence of manipulation.

The Associated Press noted, “In the resulting investigation, the source appears to have manipulated the image.”

Agence France-Presse said it withdrew the photo due to an “editorial problem”.

In a note to clients, the agency wrote: “It has come to light that a handout photo of the Princess of Wales and her children released by Kensington Palace today has been altered and therefore withdrawn from AFP systems.”

Both Reuters and the AP pointed to Kate's daughter Charlotte's sleeve as the area that showed evidence of manipulation or alteration.

Reuters said the sleeve was not lined up correctly, suggesting the image had been altered. It said the agency could not immediately determine how, why or by whom the change was made.

The AP pointed to “an inconsistency in the alignment” of the daughter's hand, saying the image was manipulated “in a way that does not meet the AP's photographic standards.”

Most photo agencies and news organizations have strict rules against publishing heavily edited or manipulated images. For example, Reuters says it only allows Photoshop to be used in “very limited” ways, such as cropping or resizing images or balancing their color.

It is strictly prohibited to remove elements from a photo or add to them, because it undermines the trust in the image and the credibility of the news organization, even if it is not a source of changes.

News organizations also use it frequently Special software Check photos to check for evidence of manipulation. Rapid advances in generative AI in recent years have made it easier for bad actors to churn out believable fake photos and videos. Generates more validation Difficulties for media companies.

The removal of the images by major news outlets is creating a new public relations headache for Britain's royal family at a time when they are trying to quell some of the wild speculation that erupted online after Kate's surgery.

Kensington Palace said in January that the 42-year-old princess No return to public duties until Easter At the end of March. The palace did not reveal what she underwent the surgery for, but said it was non-cancerous.

His long disappearance from the public eye sparked furious rumors online and in the international media. Some of this died down somewhat after a photo emerged in early March of a car driven by Kate's mother; She was sitting in the front passenger seat wearing dark sunglasses.

But the speculation has largely been fueled online, particularly on social media, by other incidents within the royal family — including Prince William's exit from an important family gathering earlier this month without public explanation.

The palace has faced increasing pressure to share more information about the future queen without compromising her medical privacy.

In February the palace took the rare step of pushing back against the rumours, saying it “clarified the timeline for the princess' recovery in January and we will only provide significant updates. That guidance stands.”

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