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"Crowdsleuthing" To Find The Boston Marathon Bomber

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As the law enforcement authorities search for clues surrounding the bombing suspect at large and inaccurate reports continue to take hold in the cable news circuit, Internet users on Twitter, it appears that the Internet users on 4chan and Reddit have started their own crowdsourced investigation. Some of the highlights so far:

  • Yesterday, British Redditor oops777 launched the Find Boston Bombers subreddit as a hub site for Redditors to collect and analyze photographs from the scene.

  • Earlier today, a group calling themselves "4chan Think Tank" shared an image gallery to the 4chan subreddit, which featured dozens of images highlighting individuals who were seen with backpacks near the bombing sites (shown above). Within five hours of posting, the gallery has been viewed more than 1 million times.

  • Today, Gawker released a list of five most referenced topics in the crowdsourced investigation, while CNN published an article debunking five hoaxes and rumors that have gone viral since the attacks. The Atlantic also offered a reminder of the dangers surrounding social media vigilantism and jumping to conclusions.

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