Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reddit Apologizes for Bombing 'Witch Hunt'

Sunil Tripathi
Reddit posted a public apology on Monday (April 22nd) after users on the popular social media site last week misidentified one of the two Boston Marathon bombing fugitives the police were looking for.

Sunil Tripathi, a Brown University student who disappeared about a month before the bombing, looked a little like one of the two men in surveillance footage the FBI had released as was named by some on Reddit as possibly being one of the suspects.

A rumor then spread that Tripathi had been named over the police scanner from the shootout scene early Friday, and his name became a worldwide Twitter trend as Reddit was lauded for correctly identifying the suspect.

It turned out the whole thing was wrong, however, and Tripathi had nothing to do with the bombing, which was discovered a few hours later when the real culprits were identified.

Earlier in the week, Reddit users had also falsely pointed out others in surveillance photos as suspects, which drew a rebuke from the FBI saying that only photos and videos released by them were legitimate.

In the post yesterday, Reddit general manager Erik Martin wrote, "We have apologized privately to the family of missing college student Sunil Tripathi, as have various users and moderators. We want to take this opportunity to apologize publicly for the pain they have had to endure."

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