A photo of a group of Silicon Valley executives in Italy seemed harmless, until someone noticed that there were only men featured. So two women were Photoshopped in.
The doctored image was included in a June 4 article by GQ magazine on a summit at the home of the designer Brunello Cucinelli in Solomeo and had also previously been posted to Cucinelli's Instagram page. Ryan Mac, a reporter for BuzzFeed News, noticed that something was off and decided to dig a little deeper.
The photo features 15 men and two women, Ruzwana Bashir, CEO of Peek, and Lynn Jurich, CEO of SunRun, who both attended the summit. But the lighting around Bashir, pictured on the far left, is consistent with the rest of the photo, while Jurich's head does not appear to align with her legs.
Mac, with the help of a Twitter user, ran a reverse image search to find the original photo, which did not include Bashir and Jurich. It had previously been published by local media and on LinkedIn.
A spokesperson for Cucinelli confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the photo had been altered with the participants' approval.
“When we realised we didn't have a shot where all attendees were represented, we added in photos of two female CEOs taken during the weekend," the spokesperson said. "The photos were shared and approved with all the participants including the two women, Lynn Jurich and Ruzwana Bashir, before posting them on Instagram and they also shared the group photo on their own Instagram handles. We meant no harm or had any malicious intent in doing this and we are sorry."
Jurich and Bashir seemed to have taken the gaffe well, posting more Photoshopped photos in response.
This story was written by Pierre Hamdi (@PierreHamdi).