No Really, Step Away from the Computer

April 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

uh fuck

Yesterday I linked out to this post written by The Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal, which handily criticizes the Redditors who think they can solve the Boston Bombing case by, like, looking at some pictures online and figuring out WHO DUNNIT. Given the participants’ years of experience in law enforcement watching television, what could possibly go wrong?? I mean other than a false accusation or two, a point BoingBoing’s Rob Beschizza just tweeted out, and which some Redditors are currently discussing here (hat tip to Chris for sending me those links). It’s no big deal, to be accused of domestic terrorism because you happened to be wearing a backpack while watching a marathon.

I’ll allow for the possibility that some of the Redditors/anons in question mean well. I’m sure they think they’re doing the FBI a favor; I’m sure these teenagers feel very pleased with themselves. But for god’s sake, these are pseudonymous and anonymous tipsters. Meaning there is no way to parse the well-intentioned from the trolls, who are probably cackling with glee knowing that Fox & Friends, including the always-reliable New York Post, who included the crowdsourced image of Reddit’s prime suspects on their front page, are primed to eat this information right out of their hands.

On the other hand, doing your job carefully is hard, and there are deadlines to meet, and this ad space isn’t going to buy itself, so…

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