The Speed At Which Wrong Information Flows
from the unfortunate dept
Basically, a woman named Amy Beam, who was interested in the Neda Soltani in the video contacted other Neda Soltani's found on Facebook, and one communicated back with her, and eventually they "friended" each other on Facebook. Soon after, the "living" Neda Soltani posted a translation of an article about the killed Neda Soltani on Amy's Facebook "wall." However, the way this works, is that along with the post on the wall, it includes the poster's own avatar/profile photo -- in this case the living Neda Soltani. From that, others who were friends of Amy saw the name Neda Soltani, the story about the killed woman, and the photo of the living woman -- and assumed they were all the same woman... and from there the photo started spreading like wildfire, including websites, TV, banners and elsewhere. And the really scary part is that the living Neda Soltani is now quite afraid for her life, since she's suddenly become "the face of the face of the struggle in Iran" despite not being the woman who was shot.
Certainly, bad information flows at incredible speed in this day and age, but the series of events and confusion that led to this result is quite fascinating, if a bit scary (especially for the living Neda Soltani). There's an effort under way to alert everyone using the wrong photo to change their images, but you have to wonder how effective that will be.