By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden, Germany
Not far from me in Frankfurt lives a newly exiled Irani women in her 30s named Neda Soltani. Soltani was mistaken (or found her likeness intentionally manipulated) as Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death at the hands of thugs and government personnel in Iran last summer--led to her own name as being called out across her country as a martyr for the Persian peoples, i.e. and their rightful cause against the autocracy (theocracy) mis-running her country now for 3 decades.
Neda Soltani, found out belatedly that her picture on FACEBOOK had been captured [outside of her access area ostensibly and only open to a small group of acquaintances in Tehran City] by outsiders. In short, it was Soltani's Facebook photo, not that of the real "martyr" Neda Agha-Soltan, which quickly became the rallying cry for the revolt in the following weeks, which was carried out by brave, freedom seeking, and strident opposition seen marching throughout Iran and seen around the globe in the following days and weeks of Summer 2010.
Neda Soltani, was actually on her own university campus and busily writing her doctoral dissertation on Joseph Conrad when the real "martyr," Neda Agha-Soltan was shot to death in the streets of Tehran. The shooting took place near a protest against the manipulated election results in Iran earlier last summer. Neda Agha-Soltan was heading to one of those demonstrations on June 20, 2009, at around 6:30 p.m. when she was killed.
The name Soltan is not that uncommon of name in Iran, so a mix up is easy to imagine. [Click on these links below from recent German interviews of the now exiled Neda Soltani and see the photos and decide if there is any room for resemblance and misunderstanding yourself.]
WARNING TO ALL USERS--BEWARE
However, whether this misuse of and abuse of Neda Soltani's FACEBOOK photo was accidental or whether it was intentional, it shows or suggests that FACEBOOK, GOOGLE and other platforms which gather and store photos on data about all of us us should not be trusted fully 100% by the users--even to provide needed security for the users.
Neda Soltani, although she is fluent in English, is now in Frankfurt, Germany starting her life totally anew--and with no hope of immediately returning soon to Iran, where she now fears for her life either from state or from citizens because of the mistaken identity episode of last summer.
From now on media and citizen users of internet platforms, please be careful with what you put up on the internet and what you take off. More importantly, check your facts.
At least use Snopes or some researcher to back your major stories.
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