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(Credit: London Allen)

Our annual round-up of the top ten most noteworthy photo fails from the past year.

For comparison’s sake, check out last year’s list.

Like last year, iMediaEthics was pleased to have fewer options of wrong and fake photos to choose from for this list.




Alexander Khoroshavin gets a new body for his head via Photoshop. The photo was faked to show Khoroshavin under arrest. Note the handcuff was also added to the image on the right. Courtesy of RIA Novosti. (iMediaEthics illustration)

(Courtesy of RIA Novosti. (iMediaEthics illustration)

10. Russian State News Fakes: Governor not Chained to Airplane Seat

Russian news outlet RIA Novosti published a fake photo of Russian governor Alexander Khoroshavin that purported to show him handcuffed to the airplane seat. The original photo was of another man for a story about airplane food.

RIA Novosti took the photo down and apologized for not verifying it. [Governor Not Cuffed to Airplane]




Above see the Texas 2005 photo the National Review used -- then deleted -- with the article on Venezuela in 2015.

Above see the Texas 2005 photo the National Review used — then deleted — with the article on Venezuela in 2015.

9. National Review Mixes up Pic of Texas with Venezuela

In May, the conservative National Review grabbed a photo of a grocery store with empty shelves and a woman standing with a shopping cart next to it for a story by Michelle Malkin titled “Ask Venezuelans How Sanders-Style Socialism is Working out for Them.” The only problem was that the photo originally accompanied a story about the aftermath of a Texas hurricane in 2005. [Venezuela, Texas, same diff]





The Post-Courier used this 2012 photo from Nigerian sites with its 2015 story.

The Post-Courier used this 2012 photo from Nigerian sites with its 2015 story.

8. Papua New Guinea Newspaper Uses Picture of Prostitutes arrested in Nigeria with story about local Prostitutes

Papua New Guinea’s Post-Courier messed up when it used a photo of teenage girls arrested for prostitution in Nigeria in 2012 and said it showed prostitutes in Papua New Guinea.  [Women aren’t PNG Prostitutes, Were Arrested in Nigeria]





Kikar HaShabbat blurred Kim Kardashian from this photo.

Kikar HaShabbat blurred Kim Kardashian from this photo.

7. Kim Kardashian Gets Deleted from Dinner

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish news site Kikar HaShabbat tried to erase Kim Kardashian from photos of a dinner she and her husband Kanye West had with the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, this spring. One photo blurred Kardashian out and another image placed the dinner receipt over her.

The reason given? She’s a “pornographic symbol.” [Kim Kardashian, Forgettable Dinner Companion?]




Side-by-side comparison. (Credit: Haaretz)

Side-by-side comparison. (Credit: Haaretz)


6. Israeli Newspaper Deletes Women from Charlie Hebdo March

Israeli newspaper Hamevaser attracted in January when it deleted women from its front-page photo of the march in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks. Germany’s Angela Merkel was one of the women who went missing thanks to the Photoshop. [No women at Charlie Hebdo march?]



The Photoshopped Zendaya picture (left) and the original (via Zendaya) (Credit: Instagram)

The Photoshopped Zendaya picture (left) and the original (via Zendaya) (Credit: Instagram)

5. Zendaya gets Magazine to Cough up Pre-Photoshopped Pictures

Singer and actress Zendaya highlighted just how much Photoshop can go into magazine images this fall when she busted Modeliste magazine for heavily doctoring its cover image of her. She even got the magazine to release the pre-Photoshop images. [Zendaya: Don’t Photoshop Me]






ted cruz, gun, ap

One of the photos of Ted Cruz standing in front of a gun poster. (Credit: AP)

4. Associated Press takes down Ted Cruz Gun Photos

This summer, the Associated Press yanked photos that made it look like a gun was pointed at Ted Cruz’s head. The pictures of the candidate for the Republican nomination for president were from a Second Amendment event and showed Cruz’s profile with a poster of a gun on the wall behind him. The AP said at the time, “The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light.” [AP Deletes Photos of Gun at Ted Cruz]




A December 2015 NY DN cover

A December 2015 NY DN cover

3. NY Daily News Deletes Photos of Bruce Jenner in Dress Before Transition and Photos of Justin Bieber Naked

At least twice the NY Daily News had to hit delete on invasive photos of celebrities.

Before Bruce Jenner told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer he was transitioning to Caitlyn Jenner, the New York Daily News and CNN published photos of Jenner in his backyard wearing a dress. Jenner complained because the photos were invasive and the outlets removed them. [Bruce Jenner Photos Deleted]

Then in October, the Daily News published nude photos of Justin Bieber on vacation in Bora Bora, but later replaced them with censored versions after Bieber’s representatives filed cease and desist orders. [Naked Justin Bieber Pictures Deleted]


(Credit: NYPost)

(Credit: NYPost)

2. Woman in Bubble Bath also not a Paris terrorist

Moroccan woman Nabila Bakkatha saw private photos become front-page news when she was falsely linked to the Paris terrorist attacks. The New York Post published a front-page photo of her taking a bubble bath with the headline “Rub a Dub Dub..Thug in a Tub…Here is Paris Suicide Bomber.” Her picture was identified as that of Hasna Ait Boulahcen, the woman killed in the Saint-Denis terror raids after the Nov. 13 attacks at the Bataclan and other locations in Paris. The UK Daily Mail also published the photo of Bakkatha, falsely identified as Boulahcen. [Moroccan Woman Not Killed in Terror Raids, News Corp Publications Use Bubble Bath Photo of Wrong Woman]


The fake photo (left) with the original (right) (Photo via Grasswire)

The fake photo (left) with the original (right) (Photo via Grasswire)

1. Veerender Jubbal was not involved in Paris Terrorist Attack

It’s hard to think of problematic photos in the media the past year without thinking of this harmful photo of Canadian Sikh man Veerender Jubbal that falsely labeled him as an ISIS terrorist involved in the attacks in Paris. An innocent selfie Jubbal took of himself this summer with his iPad was Photoshopped to make it look like he was wearing a suicide vest and holding a Koran.

Spanish newspaper La Razon apologized for posting the doctored photo on its front page.  Jubbal handled the horrible Photoshopping with grace, in iMediaEthics’ opinion, calling in a thoughtful statement for the media to learn more about the Sikh community after lumping him in with terrorists.  [Innocent Sikh man falsely linked to Paris attacks]

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Top 10 Photo Fails of 2015: Bad Photoshop & Wrong Photos

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