It’s rarely a good PR move when a social Web site decides to remove a politically-charged image–the InterWebs get angry. One such case came to light today: A Photoshop mockup of President Obama as the Joker from The Dark Knight, superimposed on the cover of Time magazine, has been removed from Flickr.
The 20-year-old Chicagoan who made the photo got an email from Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo!, saying the it had been removed due to copyright concerns. Plenty of tech pundits are saying Flickr was strong-armed by Time, Inc., which didn’t like its brand associated with something so subversive. Others are saying that Flickr removed the image voluntarily because it was the subject of too much public controversy: the image has been mocked up into a poster by an anonymous third-party and plastered around Los Angeles. Pretty much everyone agrees, however, that the issue isn’t copyright. (Below, the derivative poster.)
Firas Alkhateeb, the creator of the photo, says he didn’t have political motivations, but that he was just messing around with a Joker tutorial in Facebook.