Microsoft apologizes for race-swap photo incident

Company offers mea culpa for Polish subsidiary's use photo editing to change race of a man shown on the company's Web site. It will remove pic from the Polish site.

Microsoft apologized Tuesday for using photo editing techniques to change the race of a person depicted on the company's Web site.

In a photo on the company's U.S. Web site, three businesspeople--one black, one white and one Asian are shown as part of a pitch for Microsoft's business productivity software. In the same photo on the site of Microsoft's Polish subsidiary, a white head is placed over the black person's body, although the hand is not changed.

The move sparked controversy after it was noticed, quickly making the rounds on Twitter and various Web sites.

"We are looking into the details of this situation," a Microsoft representative told CNET News. "We apologize and are in the process of pulling down the image" from the Polish site. Microsoft also apologized on its corporate Twitter feed.

Here's the U.S. site photo (click to enlarge):

Screenshot by CNET News

And here's the one from the Polish site (click to enlarge):

Screenshot by CNET News

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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