BBC Accused Of Doctoring Image Of John Swinney To Make Him Look Like Hitler

'The large cuff would have seemed less authoritarian in my opinion.'

19/10/2016 13:14 | Updated 19 October 2016

Scottish Nationalists have claimed the BBC doctored an image of the country’s Deputy First Minister to make him resemble Hitler.

YES Scotland’s Future posted a screenshot on its Facebook page of Reporting Scotland during which a still of John Swinney appeared behind presenter, Sally Magnusson. 

Derek, a page admin of the group, immediately seized upon changes made to the picture as evidence of BBC bias.

He questioned why the image was reversed and in black and white and highlighted a “dark shadow” under Swinney’s nose.

Another admin, Martin, later added to the conspiracy theories claiming Swinney’s shirt cuff had been photoshopped to make him look “more authoritarian”.

The post reads:

1. It is reversed (left hand with wedding ring appears as right hand.

2. It is processed into black and white but with an added pattern effect (which gives it an older look)

3. The cuff off the white shirt is very poorly photoshopped out by painting black. If you zoom in the cufflink is still clearly visible although masked. The only reason to do this is to make the picture more severe, the inclusion of the large cuff would have seemed less authoritarian in my opinion.

“Can’t wait to hear the BBC explain the reasoning.”

For reference, here is the original picture. 

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
Deputy First Minister John Swinney at the Scottish National Party autumn conference on October 14, 2016.

It has indeed been reversed, presumably so it is not obscured by Magnusson and the “authoritarian cuffs” appear to be shadows rather than Third Reich-inspired photoshopping.

As for the “shadows under the nose”, this also appears in numerous other photos of Swinney from the event, possibly as a result of overhead lighting. 

Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Another view of Swinney

Regardless, many fans of the page are convinced the adjusted picture is evidence of BBC bias against Scottish independence. 

Others however, didn’t see it that way.

A BBC spokesperson told Huffington Post UK: “The way the image was used was simply for stylistic reasons for television viewing.”

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