Purported bin Laden corpse photos go viral, global

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The images are bloody, grotesque and convincing: Osama bin Laden lies dead, the left side of his head blasted away.

Unverified photos purporting to show bin Laden’s corpse rocketed around the world on television and online almost as soon as his death was announced.

The pictures have spread without regard for their origin or whether the images are real.

Newsrooms and the public are left in the tough spot of deciding what to believe when software has made doctoring photographs easier than ever.

The hunger for visual evidence of bin Laden’s death may only grow now that President Barack Obama has said the government’s photos will remain classified.

The FBI warns that scammers may exploit that hunger by spiking digital bin Laden images with computer viruses.