Huffington Post Does Poor Facebook Research, Publishes Wrong Profile Photo of Faisal Shahzad, Others Emulate

We were leery to post or comment upon the various photos released of Faisal Shahzad. As we mentioned in an earlier post, asking if he might be on Facebook, there are over 500 search results for the guy. It seemed too quick for the Huffington Post and others to be jumping to false conclusions, and we were right to be cautious:  
It was a testament to the hazards of reporting in the digital age. Earlier today, as news of the alleged identity of the would-be Times Square bomber rocketed around the Web, a reporter at the Huffington Post published a screen shot from the Facebook page of a man named Faisal Shahzad. It made sense: Shahzad, a Shelton, Conn., resident, had been identified by law enforcement after he was hauled off an airplane preparing to depart Kennedy Airport.

But the Huffington Post got the wrong Faisal Shahzad – a fact noted by several bloggers, including Glen Runciter of Gawker. "This is almost definitely not the Facebook profile of the terrorist behind the Times Square bombing attempt," Mr. Runciter writes, pointing out that the HuffPo's Shahzad was a Facebook fan of Syed Mustafa Kamal, the mayor of Karachi, and a relatively progressive politician.

"How likely is it that a wannabe terrorist is really into the secular mayor of Pakistan's biggest city?" Runciter asks. "Let's go with: Not very." The Huffington Post eventually pulled the Facebook photo from its website, as did Gawker, which had published a heavily-blurred screenshot from the same Facebook profile. (In case you were wondering: yes, the name "Glen Runciter" is a pseudonym. It was taken from "Ubik," a novel published by Phillip K. Dick in 1969.)

....Facebook journalism is a tricky science, and it almost certainly should never involve the publication of photographs of a person whom you think might be an alleged terrorist, and then again, might just be a normal dude. That's the kind of thing that can put someone in danger.
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