Reddit apologizes for falsely accusing student of bombings

Brown University student Sunil Tripathi is still missing

Topics: GlobalPost, Reddit, Sunil Tripathi, Boston Marathon, Boston Bombings,

Reddit apologizes for falsely accusing student of bombings (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post Reddit was responsible for one of the biggest news blunders of the Boston Marathon man hunt after users circulated the name of an innocent missing student as connected to the bombings.

Now, redditors along with the site’s leadership, posted an apology to the family of  still-missing Brown University student, Sunil Tripathi.

“We want to take this opportunity to apologize publicly for the pain they have had to endure,” the statement said.

“We hope that this painful event will be channeled into something positive and the increased awareness will lead to Sunil’s quick and safe return home.”

Reddit’s “findthebostonbombers” thread drew a lot of criticism for jumping to conclusions after hearing fragments of information on a police scanner.

As the Atlantic reported, a reddit user who was a former classmate of Tripathi’s said she thought she saw him in surveillance footage from the scene of the bombing.

You Might Also Like

The name, along with another innocent person, Mike Mulugeta, was passed around Reddit and Twitter until early Friday morning.

Reddit’s statement admitted that this type of crowdsourcing information left it open to becoming a type of “witch hunt”.

“A few years ago, reddit enacted a policy to not allow personal information on the site. This was because “let’s find out who this is” events frequently result in witch hunts, often incorrectly identifying innocent suspects and disrupting or ruining their lives. We hoped that the crowdsourced search for new information would not spark exactly this type of witch hunt. We were wrong. The search for the bombers bore less resemblance to the types of vindictive internet witch hunts our no-personal-information rule was originally written for, but the outcome was no different.”

Sunil’s sister, Sangeeta Tripathi, told NBC News that Reddit was “one of the more ugly and disgusting places that had a lot of traffic” relating to her brother.

Erik Martin, the general manager of Reddit, sent a private email to the family of Sunil Tripathi on Friday to apologize.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>