That guy up there is "Marcus B., lifeguard." His portrait is one of eight FACES of Coal "supporters" in the Astroturf campaign by Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security. Except that if you look at what the FACES group called the image when it posted it, he's "marcus_w."You can tell a lot from the names people give photos when they post them online. When not generating anonymous fans out of iStock photos, FACES identifies most "supporters" with a first name and last initial, nothing more. And then there are the names of the pictures, which you're not necessarily supposed to see but totally can.
To see the filename of a picture, you can either right-click on the image and choose "Copy image location" or, my favorite, look under "VIew" for "Page Source." That's where you'll find the gears and gizmos that make the Web page go. In many cases, it's surprisingly easy to read.For instance, the photo of Choskie H., teacher has a filename that includes "choskie_h." But consider the photo below. Its filename includes no proper name at all, just "farmerwithproduce." In the text FACES means for you to see, he becomes "Ronnie F., small business owner."And "David. A, restaurant owner," lives behind the scenes as "wvguy:""Elissa M." is in fact called "elissa_m" behind the scenes, but she's got no occupation. Perhaps she's a professional supporter of coal, or an iStock model, or the Internet equivalent wallpaper: