Photoshop Trolls: A Fine Internet Tradition

Can you make me more handsome?

Request: I’m looking for a girlfriend. Please Photoshop masters, make me more handsome!

Trolling isn’t something I generally condone but I have to admit that the Photoshop variety is a different breed altogether. These trolls are necessary to a healthy society. Like other comedians they call out our own bullshit and help keep our vanity in check. I’ve been meaning to dedicate a post to them, and here we are now.

Like so many other online trends, the phenomenon seems to have originated in Asia but quickly proliferated in the usual Western centers of online ebullition: 4chan and Reddit, open forums where people can tap into the knowledge of a wide variety of groups so requests for digital work aren’t rare.

One of my favorites is this thread started by someone who needed “the motorcycle in the background removed.” A great reminder of why we should always make sure we word our sentences properly:


Another all-time favorite is this request to 4chan/b/ to “photoshop the sun between my fingers.” (click on the image for the full gallery on imgur):

"Hey /b/ can you please photoshop the sun between my fingers?”

These got so popular that they eventually started getting passed around on emails and text messages. And because 4chan never archives its posts, people started publishing them on their blogs. At one point, the usual “viral scavengers” put together some interesting collections. This one from hypervocal and this other one from buzzfeed are particularly noteworthy.

The latter contains yet another of my personal faves, demonstrating why the words “Photoshop the guy on the scooter out of this photo” may be interpreted in more ways than one:


So, of course, it was a matter of time until someone self-appointed the “Photoshop Troll” title, domain name included. He started simple enough:


But then branched out to create The Internet Request team, which gave us Yakov, the Eastern European Photoshop Guru—that alas, did not master English so well—and his intern sidekick, the overzealous Brian, a native speaker that isn’t as versed in the graphic arts in this very funny post called NYC Trip.

Before Photoshop Troll became inactive last year, he did chastise a number of douche-bags a long the way proving that even trolls can use their powers for good (whatever that means). A couple of posts stand out in this regard, one where a slightly racist request is dealt with masterfully in Disneyland or this second one where an online creep requesting a six pack and a tat to make him sexier is brought to justice by the power of the pixel-pushing force:


Poetic, no?


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