What Twitter Taught Us

Plot Thickens: @RepWeiner Says Crotch in Pic Could Be His, as Internet Sleuths Up New Evidence

weiner mic1 Plot Thickens: @RepWeiner Says Crotch in Pic Could Be His, as Internet Sleuths Up New EvidenceRep. Anthony Weiner’s new lawyer should just tell him to shut up and let Twitter do the talking.

Technology seems to support Rep. Weiner’s story that some hacker was responsible for tweeting a picture of a crotch in briefs at a 21-year old girl from the congressman’s official account, and the congressman has enterprising bloggers, Twitter users and commenters to thank.

We ran down the myriad web evidence supporting and contradicting Rep. Weiner’s claim that he was hacked yesterday, but local Reuters blogger and hyperlocal Tumblr mogul Anthony De Rosa went even further down the rabbit hole. He compared the metadata of the alleged raw file of the crotch photo with a past photo from the representative’s yfrog account, and discovered the two don’t appear to match; at which point commenters jumped into the investigation.

“The one thing I would check is what happens when you use the phone’s down-scaling feature,” Nate Westheimer commented helpfully. “I would find someone with a Blackberry and see what happens when you use the native ability to downscale photos.”

“Note the lack of date and time in the dick picture. Highly suspicious,” another commenter weighed in. Another blogger got a tip from a reader demonstrating a loophole in the yfrog photo service that allows users to upload photos with just an email address.

Support from the Twitosphere! But the congressman keeps digging himself into a hole. An official statement claimed he had been tweeting about a hockey game minutes earlier and so noticed the photo right away; in fact he started tweeting about the hockey game after the photo, according to the current version of his Twitter stream. The congressman also admitted that the photo could be of him, as he’s not sure if he’s taken similar photos in the past.

Rep. Weiner has hired a lawyer but has not said he’s pursuing any kind of criminal case.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com