Iranian Protest Photo Hoax

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This photograph was posted at a lot of blogs (including LGF) and even some mainstream news sites yesterday, after someone uploaded it to Twitpic; it seems to show Iranian protesters battling riot police to a standstill:

But it turns out that the photo was not from Iran — it was taken last June in Honduras: FILE - Supporters of ousted Honduras’ President Manuel Zelaya clash with soldiers near the presidential residency Tegucigalpa.

This is yet another reminder to be careful about stories and photos posted at Twitter — sometimes they’re pure disinformation.

(Hat tip: LGF readers.)

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56 comments
1 SteveMcG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 12:59:05pm

Hard to believe anybody could have fallen for that. It didn't look right from the start.

2 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 12:59:07pm

It was a plot by Fox news to inflate the numbers at the Tea Party protest. /

3 abolitionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:00:44pm

Same style shields and helmets as in this pic:
[Link: world.globaltimes.cn...]

4 Gang of One  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:00:51pm

re: #1 SteveMcG

Hard to believe anybody could have fallen for that. It didn't look right from the start.

What caught your eye?

5 Kragar  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:01:06pm

body of Mousavi's nephew missing

According to the reformist website Parlemannews, the body of Ali Habibi-Mousavi, opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi's nephew, went missing today after he was allegedly shot dead by security forces or allied militias during massive anti-government Ashura protests Sunday.

"Unfortunately, they have taken the body of my brother from the hospital, and however much we search, we can't find the body," his brother, Reza Mousavi, told the news website. "No one is accepting responsibility for the body or is accountable."

6 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:01:10pm

re: #1 SteveMcG

I disagree - I don't think there's any obvious sign that it wasn't genuine.

7 Kragar  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:02:22pm

re: #4 Gang of One

What caught your eye?

Uniforms and equipment dont look at all similar to the previous images coming out of Iran.

8 albusteve  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:02:38pm

re: #1 SteveMcG

Hard to believe anybody could have fallen for that. It didn't look right from the start.

no blood and body parts strewn around

9 rwmofo  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:02:57pm

I didn't question it before, because I assumed it was authentic, but do Iranians wear baseball caps?

10 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:03:15pm

The photos that are apparently coming out of Iran are bad enough. Daylife and Getty Images are both running photos and they are plenty bad. The Getty Images photos include the Basij riding around on motorcycles and thrashing people seemingly at random.

11 Gang of One  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:03:31pm

re: #7 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Uniforms and equipment dont look at all similar to the previous images coming out of Iran.

Hmmm. I can see your point.

12 Stuart Leviton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:04:09pm

re: #4 Gang of One

What caught your eye?


Pamela in the crowd kinda gave it away.

13 Daniel Ballard  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:05:22pm

Nothing "fake" about it. real protest, real people, real police.
Charles nicely done owning up to running a shot that was not from Iran. 3

Lets see how long it takes the rest of the web to own up.

14 Jerusalemyte  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:05:54pm

Way to go Charles. This is your strong suit! Keep up the good work!

15 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:06:24pm

Charles, you aren't going to just yank the post and pretend it didn't happen like shrieky shriekperson?

/I respect your honesty and integrity.

16 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:06:32pm

re: #6 Charles

I disagree - I don't think there's any obvious sign that it wasn't genuine.

I just looked at a real picture of Iranian "police" and their uniforms are nothing like these. Big difference from what I can see.

17 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:07:07pm

re: #16 Walter L. Newton

I just looked at a real picture of Iranian "police" and their uniforms are nothing like these. Big difference from what I can see.

[Link: www.cnn.com...]

18 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:08:10pm

re: #16 Walter L. Newton

I just looked at a real picture of Iranian "police" and their uniforms are nothing like these. Big difference from what I can see.

Police uniforms in Iran are different, yes, but at which point did we know that military units were not involved? Are we certain at this point that they were not?

19 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:08:26pm

re: #16 Walter L. Newton

I just looked at a real picture of Iranian "police" and their uniforms are nothing like these. Big difference from what I can see.

It's pretty easy to go back now and find indications that it wasn't genuine -- hindsight is 20/20.

20 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:08:35pm

I don't understand the motivation to say that the Honduras photo was from Iran. Charles, LawHawk and others have found and posted REAL Iranian photos that are MUCH more damning (to the Iranian authorities) than this one is (young women covered in their own blood from head wounds et al)

I
JUST
DON'T
GET
IT

21 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:09:01pm

re: #18 Thanos

Police uniforms in Iran are different, yes, but at which point did we know that military units were not involved? Are we certain at this point that they were not?

re: #19 Charles

It's pretty easy to go back now and find indications that it wasn't genuine -- hindsight is 20/20.

Both valid points.

22 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:10:03pm

re: #16 Walter L. Newton

I just looked at a real picture of Iranian "police" and their uniforms are nothing like these. Big difference from what I can see.

Yeah, and the protesters are all (most) wearing short sleeved t-shirts.

23 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:10:19pm

re: #17 Walter L. Newton

[Link: www.cnn.com...]

That kind of reminds me of Lord Helmet from Spaceballs.

24 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:12:16pm

re: #22 Gus 802

Yeah, and the protesters are all (most) wearing short sleeved t-shirts.

Iranians don't wear short sleeved shirts !?!?!

//

25 wrenchwench  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:12:52pm

In hindsight, I can see that they are dressed for warmer weather in Tegucigalpa, and there are very few hats in Tehran, but more facemasks.

26 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:13:08pm

re: #24 sattv4u2

Iranians don't wear short sleeved shirts !?!?!

//

It winter there.

27 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:13:27pm

re: #24 sattv4u2

Iranians don't wear short sleeved shirts !?!?!

//

Doh! You know, it's winter in Iran and if you look at the video Walter posted you can see everyone's wearing a jacket.

28 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:13:28pm

re: #26 Walter L. Newton

It winter there.

hence the //

29 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:13:48pm

re: #28 sattv4u2

hence the //

Roger dodger.

30 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:13:51pm

re: #27 Gus 802

Doh! You know, it's winter in Iran and if you look at the video Walter posted you can see everyone's wearing a jacket.

HENCE THE //!!

31 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:14:38pm

The person who uploaded it was "Ali Reza"... so I suspect he's an agitprop artist, probably favorable towards the Shah's royalist ex-regime by the name he's chosen (Reza )

Likely an foreign agitator rather than true internal reformist.

Lizards are going to have to keep a sharp eye on things coming out now.

32 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:14:58pm

re: #30 sattv4u2

HENCE THE //!!

Stop repeating yourself... it makes you sound like Rush.

33 Cugel  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:15:01pm

It raises an interesting issue however. If posting these images helps to create a groundswell that emboldens the citizenry to overthrow the regime... is it a bad thing?

34 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:16:17pm

re: #33 Cugel

It hurts if they are able to point at the standard foreign agitators who are generally disliked as well.

35 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:16:35pm

re: #33 Cugel

It raises an interesting issue however. If posting these images helps to create a groundswell that emboldens the citizenry to overthrow the regime... is it a bad thing?

It is when the regime can mount a campaign saying

"See ,, they have to make up photos about this, taking ones that aren't even IRANIANS protesting'

36 Gang of One  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:16:37pm

re: #33 Cugel

It raises an interesting issue however. If posting these images helps to create a groundswell that emboldens the citizenry to overthrow the regime... is it a bad thing?

Yes. We're not fake-but-accurate types.

37 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:16:50pm

re: #31 Thanos

The person who uploaded it was "Ali Reza"... so I suspect he's an agitprop artist, probably favorable towards the Shah's royalist ex-regime by the name he's chosen (Reza )

Likely an foreign agitator rather than true internal reformist.

Lizards are going to have to keep a sharp eye on things coming out now.

Here's the Twitter account:

[Link: twitter.com...]

38 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:16:59pm

re: #33 Cugel

It raises an interesting issue however. If posting these images helps to create a groundswell that emboldens the citizenry to overthrow the regime... is it a bad thing?

Is truth ever a bad thing? Do you want to give ammo to the Iranian government to shout "see, this was faked, nothing was happening?" Have you notice a LACK of pictures of the protests from Iran?

Not worth the chance... there's enough truth behind what's going on, no one need to lie.

39 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:17:01pm

re: #32 Walter L. Newton

Stop repeating yourself... it makes you sound like Rush.

Ditto!

40 Kragar  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:17:45pm

re: #32 Walter L. Newton

Stop repeating yourself... it makes you sound like Rush.

So every third post will be an offer to invest in gold?

41 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:18:21pm

He uploaded a new graphic 14 mins ago, which makes me suspect he's not in Iran.

42 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:19:28pm

re: #40 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

So every third post will be an offer to invest in gold?

That is such a lame non-issue. You find companies selling gold on Clear Channel, Air America stations, all sorts of places. Hell, Goldline advertises in tons of markets and right, left and in between show.

43 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:20:16pm

Was this an intentional fake or sloppy posting of stock photos from other sites?

44 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:21:37pm

re: #43 DaddyG

Was this an intentional fake or sloppy posting of stock photos from other sites?

Intentional fake, probably from external agitprop groups. Like this one, from the old gov't in exile:

[Link: www.rezapahlavi.org...]

45 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:25:33pm

re: #9 rwmofo

I didn't question it before, because I assumed it was authentic, but do Iranians wear baseball caps?

Interesting. I can't remember seeing any, but I wasn't looking for them in the vids. I'll keep an eye out.

Mostly, the men in the footage I've seen appear to be bare-headed.

46 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:27:56pm

re: #24 sattv4u2

Iranians don't wear short sleeved shirts !?!?!

//

Might not be considered appropriate street wear by the regime.

47 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:28:12pm

re: #45 SanFranciscoZionist

Interesting. I can't remember seeing any, but I wasn't looking for them in the vids. I'll keep an eye out.

Mostly, the men in the footage I've seen appear to be bare-headed.


I just pray non of them end up bare shouldered!

48 sattv4u2  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:28:33pm

re: #46 SanFranciscoZionist

Might not be considered appropriate street wear by the regime.

The men can.

49 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:29:07pm

re: #33 Cugel

It raises an interesting issue however. If posting these images helps to create a groundswell that emboldens the citizenry to overthrow the regime... is it a bad thing?

THere's plenty of real stuff coming out of Iran. Lying about current events isn't good. It leads to lying about history.

50 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:30:18pm

re: #48 sattv4u2

The men can.

OK--didn't know. Chasidic men don't wear short sleeves--thought it might be a modesty issue in Iran as well.

51 SasyMomaCat  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:35:01pm

For anyone interested, @oxfordgirl is somehow getting info out of Iran via twitter. She must have found a way around the govt block.

Does anyone else know of a reliable twitter account to follow for info? I'm also following iranbaan, Stop Ahmadi, and Winston80 (although, didn't he get banned here? Is he still reliable?) Iranbaan hasn't tweeted since early yesterday morning and it's been 22 hrs since Stop Ahmadi got anything through.

(semi OT, did anyone ever find out what happened to @persiankiwi? Last tweet on 6/24 was distressing)

52 gregb  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:41:23pm

That's the second story today I've seen about tomfoolery and photos. All you have to do is install Tineye, right click on the photo, and it'll show everywhere that photo shows up on the Web.

Voila.....17 out of 18 sites say Honduras.

[Link: www.tineye.com...]

53 abolitionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:46:43pm

re: #20 sattv4u2

I don't understand the motivation to say that the Honduras photo was from Iran. Charles, LawHawk and others have found and posted REAL Iranian photos that are MUCH more damning (to the Iranian authorities) than this one is (young women covered in their own blood from head wounds et al)

I
JUST
DON'T
GET
IT

To the best of my knowledge, XTRABallots didn't say where the pic was from; there was no caption. It was sort of implied that is was from Iran, since his account info indicated Tehran as his location.

54 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:50:46pm

re: #53 abolitionist

To the best of my knowledge, XTRABallots didn't say where the pic was from; there was no caption. It was sort of implied that is was from Iran, since his account info indicated Tehran as his location.

But if you look at his other pictures, they're all Iranian. It was pretty obviously intended to be taken as a photo from Iran.

55 Cugel  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 3:38:54pm

I'm not condoning it - all points against such fraud are well taken.

I just thought it was an interesting philosophical conundrum. A sort of wisdom of Solomon type of problem. Do we want an improved result achieved by any means? Or do we tolerate the violent status quo repression out of principle? I think for those of us living in the West, we can afford principles. For those living under repression, the parameters may vary.

Not looking for answers - it's rhetorical.

56 Cugel  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 3:39:53pm

#49 sums up my personal view, as it happens.


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