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Obama's Hipster Mascot Is Actually Spanish

The guy on the Hipsters for Obama badge is a triathlete from Barcelona didn't know that his photo was appearing on Obama campaign swag. "I'm not pro-Obama, I'm not in his campaign and I don't know nothing about politics in the USA."

Posted on September 6, 2012, at 1:53 p.m. ET


Charlotte, NC — The guy on the Hipster For Obama badge can't vote.

Sergi Labori Plana is a 25-year-old criminologist and triathlete from Barcelona, Spain, and he did not expect to see his face on buttons being sold by the campaign at the Democratic National Convention.

"I was very surprised to see my face all over Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and a lot of websites. There are a lot of people in USA [sharing] a photo of random Spanish boy."

He says he "sincerely" doesn't like that his image has been used as a campaign tool. "I don't know much about politics in U.S. and I don't care but if I need to vote I prefer Obama to Romney," he said.

The photo is from a photo session Plana did with Catalan photographer Alex Salvador Mir. He said Mir sold the image to the online stock image service iStockphoto a few months ago. He wasn't sure whether the image license included the use of his likeness for a political campaign.

Asked if he knows what a hipster is, Plana says, "Yes, I know what a hipster is. In Barcelona and Spain a lot of people say to me that I'm a hipster but I don't care. I like my style and if they want to call me hipster it's ok for me."

"Anyway now you know that the hipster boy on that button is a Spanish criminologist, triathlete boy from Barcelona," Plana says.

Plana says he plans to "investigate about image rights."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.