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Australian Students Accidentally Taught That Robots Led the Russian Revolution

Nearly 6,000 Australian students were inadvertently taught this week that giant robots led the Russian Revolution thanks to a sloppy exam staff Google job

Killer robots storm the Winter Palace. Photo: The Age

Nearly 6,000 Australian students were inadvertently taught this week that giant robots led the Russian Revolution. A question on the standardized VCE history exam, taken by students around the country, had a section devoted to a painting depicting the storming of the Winter Palace by Russian revolutionaries in 1917. Unfortunately, however, whoever put this year’s test together took a shortcut with Google Search and didn’t notice that the first hit wasn’t exactly true to the original. Rather than inserting the real Nikolai Kochergin version of the painting, they selected a doctored gag spinoff featuring a giant machine leading the peasants.

According to Australia’s The Age, the institute administering the exam said they’ll make sure the robots don’t impact test scores:

A spokesman for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) said the image was “sourced and acknowledged by the VCAA as coming from the Internet”.

“The image has been altered but the alteration of the image won’t impact on the students’ capacity to answer the examination question,” he said.

“The VCAA will monitor students’ answers to ensure that any student who has been distracted by the image will not be disadvantaged.”

Last year, the VCE exam board received accusations of plagiarism and breach of copyright after the English exam included writings by Melbourne author Helen Razer without attaining her permission or acknowledging that she was the author, The Age writes.

The VCE isn’t the only entity falling victim to the copy-and-paste internet culture. i09 reports:

This is the second time in recent days when goofy photoshopperies have made their way into official sources. Earlier this week, a Denver television station broadcast a meme-altered image of Paula Broadwell’s biography of former CIA head David Petraeus.

The image showed an altered version the book’s title, All In, that made a crude reference to Broadwell and Petraeus’ relationship.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Copyright Confection: The Distinctive Topography of the Hershey’s Bar 
Ten Famous Intellectual Property Disputes 

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