Civics: How That Magical Jack Dorsey–Alex Jones Photo Happened

Laura Mallone:

His photograph records a tight web of figures, their gestures and expressions so intense as to seem exaggerated, like those of characters in a play. A no-nonsense cop looks askance over his shoulder; Dorsey steels himself; the tall man at center juts his lower jaw out, apparently hindering Jones from getting any closer. It isn’t a technically perfect photo: The most prominent figure is a bulwark against the brewing conflict. But it sucks you in. “It’s a place to click in, like ‘What the hell is going on here?'” says Karen Marshall, chair of the photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography. “It makes you want to keep clicking.”

And in doing so, it reminds you that, even amid today’s always-streaming political theater, the weirdest moments still unfold just out of the spotlight.

I found the photo to be a useful reflection on our first amendment rights, in the context of data mining (“social”) platforms.