In the Guardian UK there is an article about the women sentenced to stoning. The article includes the image below with the caption explaining the image. I saw this image on a number of blogs and something did not seem right. The blogs described it as an actual stoning. Yet, if you Google the image, you see cropped versions and full versions. The cropped versions do not include the onlookers, which are many women without covered heads. Obviously not an Iranian crowd scene.
An Iranian woman at a protest in Brussels highlights the barbarity of death by stoning, in which women are buried up to their necks in front of a crowd of volunteers and killed in a hail of rocks. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters 2005. (the caption for the image)
What is interesting about this image, is that when you wonder around the internet, there are many bloggers who think this is an actual image of a stoning. The Guardian article includes an image and has it captioned appropriately, that it is a re-enactment, a protest, this is journalism. Yet, blogger, after blogger, pass off the image as an actual stoning of a woman. Very few notice that the picture is cropped, if they have a cropped pictures. Or, when they have the full image, that the crowd is not Iranian.
Of course, this is not an apology in any way for the Iranian policy, this is another warning about images on the internet, truth and how we distort images to fit our message. In truth, when you look at the image, it does look staged. I found many bloggers who did have the correct attribution, but the ones who did not, were definitely looking for a certain point of view, or making a certain argument.