The battle between traditional media outlets and social media in the race to identify–and avoid misidentifying–the Boston bomb suspect(s) continues.
Today, the New York Post put a picture of two people in the marathon crowd on its cover, saying that authorities had circulated the photo and wanted to identify the men and talk to them.
This picture has “gone viral” online.
A posting at the top of a section of the social media site Reddit, meanwhile, says the authorities have already interviewed and cleared the two men in the photo. Reddit users are so angry that the photo is still being distributed that the site is threatening to permanently ban any user who submits a link to the photo.
Yesterday, we reported that people were trying to “crowdsource” the identity of the bomber(s) by analysing photos and creating a “subreddit” called FINDBOSTONBOMBERS. The top posting in that subreddit is now the following (click for larger):
CBS is also now saying that the people in photos floating around the Internet are not the people in photos that the FBI will eventually release.
The investigation into the Boston bombings is being driven by a desperate desire to find the person or people who killed three innocent people and maimed many others, as well as a fervent desire not to repeat the mistakes of the past, when the media and authorities have focused the nation’s attention on innocent people. The most famous example of this is the media persecution of a security guard named Richard Jewell who was initially a suspect in a bombing at the Atlanta Olympics and was later cleared.
The FBI is expected to release more information at a press conference later today.