Investigators mull releasing photos from Boston Marathon finish line – Investigators are believed to be weighing the advantages of releasing the photos and enlisting the public’s aid in finding possible suspects and doing anything that might jeopardize the investigation. Amateur sleuths around the world have been examining widely circulated photos from the crowd, isolating on people with backpacks, but officials have warned against such speculation.
The Boston Bombing Witch Hunt Bags Another Innocent Kid – On Monday, the New York Post doggedly stuck to its claim that 12 were killed in the Boston Marathon bombings. On Tuesday, CNN (among others) reported that a suspect had been arrested, before walking that all the way back. Today, the Post wrests back the “what the fuck are you doing?” crown by putting two “potential suspects” on the cover of the newspaper. They are most assuredly innocent.
Boston Police Commander: “I need somebody up there to get on social media…” – Shortly after the IEDs detonated in Boston (at 10:38 in the recording above), an unidentified police commander got on the radio and began giving orders. “We’re going to get the victims out, we’re then going to conduct a sweep with EOD assets… we will then get people out of the restaurants and bars. I need somebody up there to get on social media and let people know what we’re doing here–that we’re sweeping the streets to make sure it’s safe first, and then we’ll get them out of the bars once we get it swept.”
Crowdsourcing the Boston Marathon Bomber – The difference with the Reddit and 4chan crowd-sourcing is that the flow of information is not limited to the individual with information and the feds who receive the tip. Speculation is now published widely, for all to see—a dangerous idea, writes The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal. “They are not real cops. They are well-meaning people who have not considered the moral weight of what they’re doing,” he said. “This is vigilantism, and it’s only the illusion that what we do online is not as significant as what we do offline that allows this to go on.”
The Internet Mystery-Solving Machine – a horde of amateur digital-forensic analysts have been poring over every pixel of some of the same raw material as investigators—publicly available high-resolution photos and video of the race, bombing, and aftermath,which has been scattered across the Web and broadcast by news media—hoping to see something that official investigators have not. It’s a human-powered parallel-processing machine, one with overwhelming scale that is constantly churning as it aggregates known information with new data, synthesizing the two to produce highly idiosyncratic analyses. The machine is marked by its intensity, heterogeneous composition, and its odd syntax, in which annotations are made with crude graphics, and arguments are made in the raw language of Internet forums.
Media’s description of search for ‘dark skinned’ Boston Marathon suspect shows ineptitude around race – A reporter’s work is incomplete if the only description they have for a potential suspect – particularly for a crime on the magnitude of the Boston Marathon bombing – is ”dark-skinned.” Time is of the essence. Other U.S. cities and national landmarks have been placed on high alert. If a vigilant public is to help law enforcement put together the pieces of this puzzle, they must have full descriptions, which can include race but must include more.
Obama to visit Boston amid search for suspects seen on video – President Barack Obama was due to visit Boston today to attend a memorial service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing amid a manhunt for two suspects seen on video taken before two blasts struck near the finish line on Monday.
How Long Does it Take to Catch a Terrorist? – As the country waits for answers about who the terrorist — or terrorists — is, the reality of how long that might take was discussed Tuesday on the PBS NewsHour. Michael Greenberger, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Health and Homeland Security, said he’s optimistic that they’ll find the perpetrator of the Boston marathon bombings eventually, but possibly not until evidence is painstakingly pored through and analyzed. “I have the unfortunate suspicion that this won’t be solved quickly,” he said in a story posted yesterday.
Social media and the Boston bombings: When citizens and journalists cover the same story – There is a reflexive reaction to pit emergent social media behavior against the traditional journalistic practices and norms. This defensive posture is counterproductive for both sides. Rather than pointing out flaws in order to uphold one model over the other, we should appreciate the interplay between them with a sense of symbiotic dependence that ultimately produces a more participatory, accurate and compelling news cycle.
Give It Arrest - A visiual guide to the CLUSTER$&K of misinformation during Wednesday afternoon’s Boston Marathon bombing news coverage.
Beware bogus Boston Marathon charity websites – One fraudster already tried to dupe the public by setting up a Twitter account minutes after the bombing that claimed to be associated with the Boston Marathon organization. The @_BostonMarathon account promised to donate $1 for every retweet. After users called it out as a fake, Twitter quickly shut the account down — but not before it received more than 50,000 retweets.
Internet Comes Up With 8.5 Million Leads On Potential Boston Bombing Suspect (satire) – While still early in the investigation, experts believe the internet is likely to uncover crucial evidence in the coming hours that will likely result in anywhere between 20 to 30 million more leads on potential bombing suspects.
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