Reddit Apologizes For Boston Bomber 'Witch Hunt'

Online sleuthing 'spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties'
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2013 3:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a rare act of contrition for the actions of its users, social news site Reddit has apologized for its role in the "online witch hunt" that took place in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, CNET reports. "Though started with noble intentions, some of the activity on reddit fueled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties," General Manager Erik Martin wrote in a blog post. "The reddit staff and the millions of people on reddit around the world deeply regret that this happened."

Martin apologized specifically for users falsely identifying missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi as a suspect in the attack, and said Reddit has apologized privately to Tripathi's family. Law enforcement officials say they originally released photos of bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the public partly to limit the damage done by wannabe sleuths on Reddit and other social media sites, the Washington Post reports.

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