False Frame

download (4)Interesting picture from the Baltimore protests. It looks like a purse is being snatched from an innocent victim, as the victim’s friends try to assist and fend off the attacker. But the truth is more complex.

According to the women in the glasses, Caitlin Goldblatt, the rehead, was a stranger to all of the others in the picture. She came out of a bar drunk and began heckling the black man, who appeared to her to have stolen a bottle of liquor from a liquor store. In the process, the drunk redhead hurled her bag at the man, and the other women (who knew neither of them) came over to pull her off the black man, who in the meantime had grabbed onto the purse the redhead had thrown.

This is not to render guilty and not-guilty verdicts on people in the picture. It certainly looks like the man intends to walk off with the purse, and walking around with a new bottle of vodka in a riot isn’t exactly unsuspicious.

But an interesting point made by Caitlin and others is how natural it is for us to assume the white women must all be acting together in the photograph. Remove the assumption of homophily and it is a different story altogether. twitter

Another example of false framing is Selfie False Frame.

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