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On April 15, 2013 there was a tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon. Almost instantly pictures and videos of "suspects" started to appear on the web. Was this a good thing? Do you have concerns?
If the technology is open, you can't impose rules
Apr 27, 2013 Virginia H1

If we want to maintain an open internet, it's impossible to impose "rules" about what people can post about others. This can lead to bad outcomes (as when Reddit branded innocent people as suspects in the bombing), but there is no way to completely prevent such behavior by "the crowd."

In the past, libel laws protected individuals from defamation. The anonymity of websites like Reddit, however, mean that I can libel someone and never be held accountable.

We should educate people and instruct them not to rush to judgement, but it is inevitable that people will continue to play "detective," especially since they now have access to so much information.

Websites need to self-police, and should take down these posts when the are made. My hope is that as people become more educated and sophisticated about what is online we will all be better able to distinguish fact from fiction. That's why there is still a place for the vetting and credibility provided by the mainstream media.


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