All kinds of free software allow you to amend metadata even to make a photo look like it was taken on a day that hasn’t happened yet
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson was accused of faking a picture of him standing silent in honour of the victims of the Plymouth shootings, when social media users spotted that his wristwatch said 11.14am when he was supposedly silent at 11am. A clock on the mantel was therefore said to have been put back in order to make it appear the appropriate time, but the different time on Johnson’s watch was presumably missed:
After the evidence went viral, Downing St tried to put the outrage and mockery to bed, claiming that it had ‘proved’ that the image was in fact taken at 11.01am – because the ‘metadata’ on the image subsequently uploaded to the Flickr image website showed that time.
But in fact, lots of software platforms – many of them free – allow someone to alter the ‘taken’ time in the metadata. Skwawkbox researched the process and found that it’s even easy to make a photo appear to have been taken on a date that hasn’t even happened yet:
Downing Street’s excuse for Johnson – supposedly ‘proof’ – has collapsed like a deck of cards. At the moment, the most reliable available evidence on the face of it suggests that it was 11.14am and not the 11am at which the nation was supposed to be falling silent out of respect for the victims of the Plymouth murders. The metadata do not prove what Johnson’s apologists claim.
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