Mark Milian and Johanna Neuman
Sunday, August 22, 2009
Over the last few days, Firas Alkhateeb, the artist behind the picture of President Obama as the Joker from “Batman” whom Top of the Ticket profiled on Monday, has become the unlikely poster boy for several issues.
And the technology community sees him as the most visible representative of free speech after photo-sharing site Flickr removed his image of Obama.
“I don’t regret making it. I regret the way it’s being used,” he said, referring to a poster that captioned the Obama image he created with the word “socialism.”
To the leftists who were hoping for a radical right-winger to be their scapegoat: “I’m sorry to disappoint them,” Alkhateeb said sarcastically. “A lot of news agencies were expecting a racist, far right, big white guy.”
To the outraged tech community: He’s with you. “More than anything, it’s a free speech issue,” Alkhateeb said of Flickr deleting his creation. “I really don’t think it should have been taken down in the first place.” Flickr says it was responding to a takedown notice sent to the company. Alkhateeb plans to file a counterclaim.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 4:21 am