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All this has happened before...

It’s Okay, Guys, The Robot Revolution Already Happened. In Russia. Ninety-Five Years Ago

At least that’s what thousands of Australian students found out this week while taking a standardized test, all thanks to a little careless Google Image searching.

The Russian Revolution (that is, the one in 1917, not the Revolution of 1905, which also took place in Russia) was the subject of the test question and naturally was accompanied by the above thematically appropriate image. As any student of world history knows, highly advanced mecha warriors played a pivotal role in the victory over the Tsarist regime.

Wait, I mean “as any student of world history knows, highly advanced mecha warriors played absolutely no role in the victory over the Tsarist regime.”

The above picture is a photoshopped version of the painting Storming the Winter Palace on 25th October 1917, by contemporary artist Nikolai Kochergin. Unfortunately, the photoshopped version is the first Google image result that appears when you search for Storming the Winter Palace, and it made it into the twelfth-year VCE exam.

A spokesperson for the VCE’s testing authority said that they were aware that the picture “came from the internet,” and said that they’re going to make sure that it’s presence did not invalidate this round of testing.

The image has been altered but the alteration of the image won’t impact on the students’ capacity to answer the examination question. The VCAA will monitor students’ answers to ensure that any student who has been distracted by the image will not be disadvantaged.

So there you have it, Australian kids. If you wrote your answer about giant robots, you’re fine. But if you just got it wrong, then you’ve got a problem. Last year the same testing authority got itself into some hot water for using the pictures of an actual person’s tattoos without credit or acknowledgement. Seems like creating some new standards for sourced pictures for the exam materials might be in order.

(The Age via io9.)

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  • Gabrielle Panepinto

    This is ridiculous. The people who get the images need to be held to some kind of standard.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…looks to me like it’s historically accurate…in the world of Ring of Red.

  • Anonymous

    The image is more disturbing that you think! It is unequivocal evidence that the fearsome Zentradi played a role in the revolution, no doubt at the behest of their Robotech masters! Insidious…

  • Mark Brown

    Objection, that is not a robot, that is a piloted mech. A Zentraedi Glaug, commonly called an Officer’s Pod. There’s a living flesh-and-blood pilot in that thing.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Agreed, maybe they should take an exam …

  • Galina Redkina

    There were two Russian revolutions in 1917. The February one (which took place in March) and the October one (which was in November).

    I did not see the robot until I read there was a robot. It would be cool if someone could actually link to the question the picture was illustrating.

  • Life Lessons

    That is awesome.