Crowd-sourcing: Photoshopping Iran

Between the State Department claiming credit for keeping Twitter online during Iran demonstrations and Kevin Love revealing that Kevin McHale has been ousted as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, it’s been a good 36 hours for Twitter and, by extension, blogs.

With the new ways to distribute information, however, comes new ways to spread misinformation and the jury is still out on an allegation sweeping blogs and Twitter today: That Iran’s government Photoshopped in images of demonstrators at a pro-Ahmadinejad yesterday.

keyhan-ehtics.jpg

This image was posted at this blog today, on a tip from a reader who read about it on Twitter, based on this blog. “The little circles show different areas of the image which are COMPLETELY identical. As in Copy/Paste identical!” it said. “This is proof that someone took a photo, copied areas of the image crowded by people, and pasted them where there wasn’t anyone.”

The allegation and Photoshopped picture has now been picked up by Boing Boing and Yaba Yaba, which claimed the image came from this site, which is in Farsi and at the moment shows images of the anti-Ahmadinejad rally on Monday.

It’s also been attributed to Keyhan, a conservative news site in Iran. It, too, is in Farsi and navigating the site has been an impossible task for me. If you speak Farsi, perhaps you can help “crowd source” the allegation and find the image.

If true, it wouldn’t be the first time the Iran government has Photoshopped images. But the Twitter/blog world’s lack of questioning about the authenticity of the “evidence” is a reminder to be careful.

That said, Kevin McHale really is gone as Timberwolves coach.

  • Elizabeth T

    Re: visual tricks

    My brother works in the film industry doing computer graphics – i.e., making what you see

    His suggestion: never believe that anything you see on TV/film is actually real.

  • http://norwegianity.wordpress.com Mark Gisleson

    You won’t hear any complaints from me. Earlier this week I ran a crowd shot for my blog mast but because of the dimensions of the photo and the wide angle of my blog header I ended up cutting and pasting three screenshots side by side. Visually accurate, digitally bogus.