Made some changes the the format and style of the blog. Mainly out of annoyance of the look of the previous theme.
These are the photos the FBI released at a press conference today of the people they wish to speak with in relation to the Bombing of the Boston Marathon.
If seen, people are advised not to approach these individuals.
The FBI considers these men potentially armed and dangerous. Do not try an apprehend these people, just call 911 or the FBI Tip Line at 1-800-CallFBI.
The eagerness of Reddit’s internet detectives and the media frenzy surrounding the Boston Marathon Attack is, in no short order, causing unintended problems for innocent people like 17-year old Salah Barhoun.
Barhoun, who was identified by the hive-mind as being “suspicious,” ended up going to police this week to clear his name after some papers and websites began to broadcast his picture when discussing potential suspects.
Eventually, the New York Post ran the photo of the teenager next to a headline reading: “MEN IN SIGHTS.” with the caption “Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.”
Gawker has been pretty good at capturing all of this and is a good read if you have some time to kill. Below is just a small example:
As we documented yesterday, a large and active community of amateur detectives, dedicated to the close examination of photographs of the scene, emerged on the link-sharing site Reddit (and elsewhere) in the aftermath of Monday’s bombing. Their efforts were going about as well as you might imagine, which is to say, not very well—lots of MS-Paint circles and lots of near-baseless speculation.
But thanks to their ability to do really basic internet detective work, they managed to figure out pretty quickly that the guy in the blue track jacket almost certainly isn’t a bomber. All they had to do was find his Facebook.
When other outlets such as ABC started to track down Barhoun, The Post then issued what amounts to a “mea culpa” and thus changed the article to indicated that they had been “cleared” by authorities.
In the ABC article, Barhoun is quoted saying, “It’s the worst feeling that I can possibly feel… I’m only 17.”
After CNN’s error this week, it is not surprising that most of the national outlets are doubling-down on fact checking before publishing anything; however, coverage of the Boston attack is beginning to reach a level of hysteria that is now worthy of a segment on The Daily Show.
Stay tuned for more.
Update at 2:30: FBI investigators revealed two photos of their suspects today. During the conference, lead investigator Richard DesLauriers stressed that the photos shown are the only ones that should be considered at this time. Obviously a indirect rebuke of various news organizations and websites like Reddit.