Friday, December 20, 2013

"The most influential people on Reddit in 2013"

2) The r/findbostonbombers moderators | The FBI’s most mettlesome

Boston was in lockdown. Three people had been killed and more than 260 injured in an attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A manhunt unlike anything Americans had seen since Sept. 11, 2011 was underway. On Reddit, thousands of users were poring over photos and videos of the April 15 attacks—information they published to r/findbostonbombers.

Two days after the attack, using information gathered on Reddit, the New York Post ran a photo of two men it alleged were persons of interest in the case. The newspaper has a circulation of more than 500,000 and its website is one of the most visited in the U.S.. The newspaper, and Reddit’s sleuths, were wrong. The men had nothing to do with the bombing. After that misfire, redditors found a second top suspect: Sunil Tripathi, a Brown University student who had been missing since March. He, likewise, was completely innocent.

In the end, r/findbostobombers was shut down. And Reddit issued an apology to the Tripathi family. “The Reddit staff and the millions of people on reddit around the world deeply regret that this happened,” general manager Erik Martin wrote.