Yes This Is a Man Defecating on the American Flag. No He’s Not An Occupy Protestor

Filed Under (Current Events) by on 12-06-2011

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Man Defecating on a burning American flagThe internet is a powerful thing.  It has help unite revolutions around the world, organize protests for change, and make people aware of things they otherwise may have never known about.  But at the same time it is a tool that can be used to fuel anger, hatred, and even violence.  As I’ve pointed out before, the internet is a dangerous place.  Imagery and video out of context can fuel strong feelings that can help support a belief or cause.  But as I mentioned previously in regards to the Occupy protests and police brutality, it’s important to take a step back and consider what you are looking at before reacting or coming to a conclusion.

Unfortunately, like in my previous post about how dangerous the internet can be my dad let his feelings get the best of him.  He was emailed the image you see in this post of a man defecating on the American flag.  In the email it claimed the photo was of an occupy protester.  He felt strongly about the image, as many would, and ultimately that brought him to turn around and post the image on Facebook with a similar message.

As a supporter of the Occupy movement and an overall skeptic when it comes to anything I find online that’s politically motivated, I questioned it.  I did a quick image search in Google for “man defecating on amercian flag” and quickly found multiple copies of the same image.  Many were on blogs trying to spread a similar message to what my dad received in his email, but one in particular stood out because it was in a post from 2007.

The post on Full Metal Patriot tells the story of the image a bit more clearly.  Taken in 2007, this image was actually from a peace protest that was held in Portland.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if it’s politically, socially, or morally motivated and it’s shared online DO YOUR HOMEWORK.  Dig a little.  Check Snopes. Do some searches and see what you find.  Check dates.  Compare.  If it checks out, or you feel confident that it’s legit.  Share to your hearts content.  At least then if it comes back later that it’s fake or founded on misinformation you’ll have done your part to try and find the truth.

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