Faisal Shahzad’s Headline Photo is Sourced from Orkut

A screenshot of Faisal Shahzad's image on NYTimes.com, as sourced from Orkut.com

The recent creation of Facebook Open Graph opened a whole new can of worms regarding privacy on social networks. Now more than ever, the world is all a-buzz about privacy.Β But what about privacy for criminal suspects?

Faisal Shahzad, the suspect who admitted to attempting to explode a bomb in Times Square on May 1st, has been pictured across multiple news sites. Most of the pictures being used to depict the suspect are from Orkut and Facebook, social networking sites that Mr. Shahzad maintained profiles on. From a quick search on both sites, I couldn’t seem to find his profiles. But somehow, news agencies have managed to locate his photos and post them alongside the latest headlines.

How could an individual with a plan to unleash bombs in Times Square leave his online social presence completely unprotected from the media? Was he oblivious to the fact that his photos might some day be shared on national television and across the web without his authorization after his attempts at mass destruction? Or did he actually unknowingly give authorization to both sites to share his content with the world? Were the privacy settings too difficult to understand?

Maybe it was just that the default settings said, “Yes! Please obliterate my right to privacy,” and Mr. Shahzad didn’t realize it. Whatever the reason, I am amused to see “Orkut.com” as the source of these photos.

What are your thoughts on news sites sourcing Orkut and Facebook for photos? Do you think there are any privacy implications?

Michael Jackson’s Last Dance at the Apollo: Impersonators, Love Letters, News Crews and Tchotchkes

Above: The most popular Michael Jackson vigil in New York City last night was at the Apollo in Harlem, where a spirited tribute was paid to the late “King of Pop”.

Above: Michael Jackson fans danced to his beats all night long at the Apollo. This photo was taken at around 2:00 a.m. on Friday morning. The Apollo festivities began during the early news of Jackson’s death on Friday afternoon.

Above: Coined “DJ Standpipe” by the guy in the hat on the left, this Jackson fan played “what the people want to hear” all night across from Apollo Theater.

Above: A video of the Apollo Theater Michael Jackson tribute dance party in action.

Above: A well-received Michael Jackson impersonator with someone I think looks like LL Cool J.

Above: CNN Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth (also an NYU grad) reported live from the Apollo in Harlem.

Above: Four cardboard boxes were taped in the entrance of the Apollo, where fans poured their hearts out to Jackson, leaving both notes of peace and love.

Above: Finding space on the cardboard memoir was difficult for late-comers.

Above: Another Michael Jackson impersonator appeared in Times Square. Less welcomed than the impersonator at the Apollo, this guy stood awkwardly in a sea of camera-happy tourists. A group of angry fans approached him at one point for his tasteless act. I feared that he was on the verge of getting beat up.

I stayed at The New York Times building until 11:30pm last night after work, staying updated on the latest news on Michael Jackson’s shocking death. By around 10pm, I had a game plan. I learned of the two vigil sites by then. One took place at Times Square outside the recently-closed Virgin Records Megastore. After hearing about it, I highly publicized that one on Twitter and Facebook, to get the word out.

Shortly after, it occurred to me that the Apollo Theater in Harlem HAD to be the most spirited MJ vigil in NYC. Why? The Apollo is where he first performed as a 9-year-old boy with The Jackson 5. It is also where the band won the coveted Apollo Amateur Night award in 1969.

Weikai (my boyfriend) and I decided to check it all out. After a brief visit to Times Square, where we saw an awkwardly still Michael Jackson impersonator, we headed to Harlem. Exiting the subway, we heard MJ music blaring from many passing cars. The two-block walk to Apollo was pretty eventless, but upon arriving we heard music from various sources filling the air, saw a much more graceful and tasteful impersonator, spotted a few news crews (including CNN), witnessed fans signing a piece of cardboard in memory of Jackson, and passed by a few tchotchke-sellers.

Within about 20 minutes, I even saw my supervisor, Soraya, who directed me a few blocks away from the Apollo where hyped-up fans were chanting “Michael, Michael, Michael…”. A few minutes after arriving to the new site of fans, it was broken up by the NYPD who told the fans to go around the corner (out of the street) to a safer place.

By that time, it was nearly 2:30a.m. and Weikai and I were getting sleepy. I left feeling like I had witnessed a part of history — a moment in time that many will remember for years to come.

Michael Jackson Vigil TONIGHT at MIDNIGHT: NYC Times Square Virgin Records Store

Above: Michael Jackson in London in March 2009 (Photo: AP)

Michael Jackson Vigil
Where: Times Square Virgin Records Store
1540 Broadway, between West 45th and 46th Streets)
When: June 25, 2009 at Midnight

Calling all Michael Jackson fans. Come celebrate the life and music of Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop”. See you there!

And before you come, feel free to share your thoughts and photos on the “Michael Jackson Legacy” page on NYTimes.com.