In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, all kinds of theories emerged about who was responsible. One of the largest rabbit holes of speculation was reddit, the popular social news site. Will Oremus of Slate had a great story last Wednesday about Reddit’s role in the crowd-sourcing. On Thursday evening, speculation was rampant on a variety of social media platforms that missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi was one of the suspects; by Friday morning, the FBI had named two brothers instead.
“We have known unequivocally all along that neither individual suspected as responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings was Sunil,” said the family on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Sunil.
To its credit, reddit acknowledged in a blog post Monday that “some of the activity on reddit fueled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties….we have apologized privately to the family of missing college student Sunil Triphathi, as have various users and moderators.”