How a Photoshopped Picture of Sir Ian McKellen Fooled the Internet
This past weekend, Sir Ian McKellen attended an event in Hyde Park to protest the policies of Pope Benedict XVI on the Pope's very first state visit to the UK. Shortly thereafter, the photo to the above left began to make its way around the tubes, wherein McKellen wears a shirt that says "I'm Gandalf and Magneto. Get over it!" The Internet being the Internet, it "went viral," as the kids say, with the picture getting more than 250,000 views on Twitpic, close to 200,000 more when it was ripped to Imgur, and who knows how many more via blogs and other third-party sources.
Indeed, it is a pretty awesome shirt. However, it is not the shirt that McKellen actually wore to the anti-pope rally: Rather, he wore the shirt to the above right ("Some people are gay. Get over it!") which actually makes a lot more sense considering 1) that the typeface changes in the Gandalf shirt, but is consistent in the real thing; 2) that the protester behind him is wearing the same shirt in both instances; and 3) that as mind-blowing as is the Gandalf-Magneto singularity presented by McKellen, the Church's positions with respect to homosexuals are a bit easier to protest. All good Photoshop fun, maybe, but it apparently actually fooled a lot of people; The Advocate ran the shopped McKellen shirt on their website before correcting it, and lots of social media sharing of the picture takes it at face value. As The Daily What wrote when they debunked the 'shoop earlier today: "Before this goes so far that it gets picked up by the Times ... right - real; left - fake." It's instructive how this happened:Read on...