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Sometimes, photo doctoring meant going back to the past to change the historical record, as when Stalin ordered Leon Trotsky, once a leading figure in the Communist Party, eliminated from all photos. After Trotsky was exiled by Stalin for mounting a failed opposition to his leadership, the revolutionary was snipped, airbrushed and covered up in countless photographs. Sometimes, Stalin inserted himself in photos at key moments in history, or had photo technicians make him look taller or more handsome.
Even citizens had to get in on the act. As Stalin’s purges became more and more widespread, civilians who feared being branded as his political enemies began to realize that owning photos of Stalin’s political enemies—even photos in books or magazines—was dangerous. They learned to deface their own materials with scissors or ink. “Such was the atmosphere of fear that families of those arrested and condemned were compelled to destroy even the image of their loved ones in their own personal records
The award-winning photo from 1989 was not served up in image or video searches using Bing even outside China, a country known for strictly controlling what is available online. "This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this," a Microsoft spokesman said in response to an AFP inquiry prompted by US press reports. Meanwhile, searches for Tank Man using Google, which has some 92 percent of the global market for online queries according to Statcounter, turned up an assortment of pictures along with the iconic one by photographer Charlie Cole and others.
Famed 'Tank Man' Photo Vanishes From Bing Search Engine