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Web roots out Vancouver riot's kissing couple

The minute a strange and wonderful image of a couple kissing in the road during the Vancouver riots emerged on the Web, everyone wanted to know who they were. Their identity seems to have emerged first on Facebook.

There they were lying in the road making out while all around them a riot was taking place.

Or at least that's how it seemed.

A stunning photograph, taken by Getty's Richard Lam, who has been a little slow in putting it up on his home page, suddenly became as iconic as the Doisneau shot of the couple kissing in Paris.

Who were these people? Why were they lying there kissing? But, most importantly for those who trawl the Web in search of shaming the latest trolls, was this a setup?

So many things seem to be staged these days that it's sometimes hard to discern what's real and what's merely an ad for a gadget or a laxative.

So the communal populace of the Web went to work to find out just what went on here.

Soon, footage emerged that seemed to conclusively prove that this couple was, indeed, lying in the road, male atop female.

But who were these people? Surely it wouldn't take long to find them, once it was clear that the whole wide web of the world was looking for them.

And so the Toronto Star seems to have been one of the first to reveal that, why, this was Alexandra Thomas of Canada and Scott Jones of Australia. Of course. Who else could it have been? They had, indeed, been run over by riot police and Jones was reassuring Thomas that she would be just fine.

Did it help that he is, in fact, an actor? I wouldn't dare suggest such a thing.

But, thanks to the beauty of time zones, it was actually Jones' dad, Brett, who first identified his own Australian progeny as the asphalt kisser.

Where did he go to reveal this? His Facebook page, where he posted: "This is my son. How's that for making love, not war!"

His previous post had concerned "Life Strategic Coaching." Suddenly, with this little announcement on Facebook, he and his family were in a position to strategically coach the world.

Within one news cycle, Brett Jones was using Facebook to announce that he was setting up a Hug Day. Yes, a Hug Day, where we can all find our nearest place of unrest, lie down, and kiss and cuddle. Or something like that.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some have found it strange that a supposedly peaceful nation like Canada should succumb to the temptations of violence and destruction. I find this odd. The sport around which this riot was formed--hockey--has violence and destruction at its core.

Yet, once the Web manages to wrap its tentacles around a riot, it can find the one glimmer of hope among the Canadian madness.

Thanks to the people of the Web's deep fascination with all things loving, Vancouver 2011 might now be remembered for the Kiss rather than the 150 Injured and Taken to Hospital.