Need one more reason to cast a suspicious eye over the doings of the incumbent Ahmadinejad government in Iran? Well here is one, and there's a fascinating sting in the tale—turns out the government isn't as tech-savvy as its people.
Check out this image—it's supposedly of a pro-Ahadinejad rally in the election aftermath.
Notice anything? Someone's been trying to improve the image. By badly photoshopping it to increase the number of people that turned up to support Ahmadinejad—it's a simple clone and paste job, with pretty large areas copied and pasted. In other words, it's the crassest way of adjusting the image to add to the number of people. And it looks like there's been no attempt to mask it by changing the colors, or otherwise tweaking the copied pixels.
One could suggest that the image manipulation was merely used to cover up things in the image that the existing government didn't want people to see. That's slightly less despicable, while still being dubious. But if you look, it appears as if the cloning and pasting is all happening at the back of the crowd—where you'd try and add lots of small figures to augment the crowd density.
So, what do we have? A digital image that appears to be pro-Ahmadinejad (we can't vouch if it's an official image or not) that's been badly edited to make him look more popular. That's all while the country's officials are cracking down on foreign journalism in an attempt to strangle the old media. And meanwhile the protesters are busy using the new media facilitated by the Internet to get the news out and organi<e protests anyway. Anyone spot the irony in that?