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‘Stalin would’ve loved this’: Elon Musk quips on Google photos feature

Google photos has started rolling out Magic Eraser AI editing tool, that helps smoothly erase photo elements, to Google One members. The feature which helps to eliminate ‘photobombers’ got an unexpected and witty praise with Elon Musk tweeting that the feature would have been loved by former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

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Significance of the photo

In the image Musk shared, Joseph Stalin and Nikolai Yezhov can be seen strolling along the shores of the Moscow-Volga Canal in April 1937. However, Nikolai Yezhov is no longer present in the modified edition. During the Great Terror, Yezhov was Joseph Stalin’s top official in the NKVD (the Soviet secret police). Yezhov was allegedly removed from this photograph after Stalin had him killed. Yezhov enraged Stalin, who believed he was plotting his assassination.

The photo, famous as murder meme, seems to be Musk’s favourite as he frequently posts the image on social media to make his case. In one such instance, Musk tweeted the image to take a dig at the then Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal when has taken over Jack Dorsey as top official of the micro-blogging site. The photo had the faces of Stalin and Yezhov swapped as Agrawal and Dorsey, respectively.

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Google photos new features

Google One members — on both Android and iOS — and all Pixel users will now be able to enjoy Magic Eraser, a new HDR video effect and exclusive collage styles. In addition, Google One members will get free shipping on print orders.

1. Magic Eraser detects distractions in photos, which can be then removed easily. Users can also circle or brush other things they want to erase.

There is a Camouflage feature in Magic Eraser that can change the colour of objects in photos to help them blend in naturally with the rest of the photo.

2. HDR effect on photos help balance dark foregrounds and bright backgrounds (or vice versa). Furthermore, it also lets enhance the brightness and contrast across videos.

3. Google is rolling out a range of new Styles to the collage editor for Google One members and Pixel users.

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