Anthony Weiner is about as uncensored online as he is offline. But is he really bold enough to post a photo of himself sans pants over a Twitter account?
I’m less interested in the politics of the matter than the technical evidence that could show whether the congressman sent the photo himself or if it was sent by someone else. Over the weekend, I posted my analysis on the authenticity of the photo behind the scandal. Weiner’s friend and former “freeloading” roommate, Jon Stewart, used my post from the other day on The Daily Show to illustrate some of the methods for how the congressman could have had his account hacked. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Every photo tells a story
Within just about every digital photo, there are clues left behind called “metadata” that identify the make and model of the camera used, the time the photo was taken and sometimes even the location the photo was taken at. I ran one of the earlier photos that Anthony Weiner had taken through several tools (here is one you can try yourself) that look at the “exif data” within the photo. Here was the result from this photo:
This tells us that the congressman usually shoots his Twitter images with a Blackberry 9650, with a pretty high resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. I then compared this data to the lewd image he was alleged to have sent to a young woman over Twitter.
Here’s the data I found for that image:
Notice a lot of the data that appeared in the earlier photos is missing in the scandalous photo that has Weiner in hot water. There is no make or model listed, and the dimensions of the photo are much smaller. This could indicate a few things. The data could have been stripped at some point because it was uploaded to yfrog or through some other service; it could have been taken by a camera, uploaded to a computer and then uploaded to yfrog; or it simply could have been edited with any photo application. There are applications that will allow you to go in and modify the metadata for a photo.