The bombings in Boston caught us all off guard. What was supposed to be a day of fun became a day of infamy in the blink of an eye. Running a marathon — when people are so vulnerable… It is absolutely despicable.
As the hours between the bombing and the arrest increase, uneasiness spreads throughout the general public. Therefore, it isn’t much of a surprise that social media has taken on the task of finding the perpetrator.
Reddit and 4chan, two popular online message boards have received a lot of criticism (inside and outside their community), have been posting threads of pictures from that day. As users circle faces and speculate whether or not certain bystanders were involved, it makes one wonder: “Should they really be doing this?”
I think not. These are people’s lives that users are speculating on — people with families who are currently enduring a tragedy. I am enraged by the cruelness of these attacks, but vigilantism is not the answer. More experienced and competent people are already on the case. A witch hunt is not the answer.
This, however, is not the first time that Reddit has been tied up to crime investigation. Last month a user posted this meme of confession bear:
Since then, police and users have been investigating the claim. Although some claim it was a prank, it is quite unsettling. This whole situation does beg the question: “What is the public’s role in such crimes?”