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Face Swapping is a photoshop technique that involves digitally swapping the faces of two or more subjects depicted in a given photograph. A well-known variation of the practice is facebombing, a similar technique that involves taking one face in a group and applying it to all subjects in the photo.
The exact origin of face swapping is unknown. Two of the earliest known exploitable photoshop memes in the early 2000s, Asian Prince (shown below, left) and Little Fatty (shown below, right), featured many examples in which the subject’s face was superimposed over someone else’s.
On October 5th, 2005, a Flickr group titled “Face Swap” was created, featuring photographs of two or more subjects with other faces superimposed over their own. In 2007, the Weegee photoshop meme began appearing on the /v/ (video games) board on 4chan, which contained examples with Luigi’s face from Mario is Missing superimposed over various subjects (shown below).
On April 17th, 2008, the single topic blog Manbabies.com was launched, which highlights notable manbaby photoshopped images. On November 1st, 2009, the Nic Cage as Everyone single topic blog was created, featuring curated photos with the face of actor Nicolas Cage swapped in (shown below, left). On March 3rd, 2010, a face swapped image of the characters Jim and Pam from the American comedy television series The Office was highlighted on The Huffington Post (shown below, right).
On December 4th, 2012, the viral content site BuzzFeed published a compilation of disturbing face swaps. On May 14th, 2013, the FaceMashups YouTube channel was created, which features videos of celebrities with digitally swapped faces (shown below). On May 28th, Redditor BabsonMcChonkers submitted YouTuber FaceMashups’ edited clip of a scene from the 1992 military drama A Few Good Men to the /r/videos subreddit, in which actor Tom Cruise’s face is swapped with co-star Jack Nicholson (shown below, right). Within nine days, the post received over 1,400 up votes and the video gained more than 99,000 views.