Online searchers help in Boston Marathon manhunt

Posted at: 04/22/2013 6:55 AM
By: Associated Press

When Boston police and federal authorities went searching for the culprits behind the Boston Marathon bombing, they were joined by thousands of online volunteers who tried to help crack the case.

While the digital "deputies" helped play a role providing images of the bombing scene and glimpses of the two suspects, their efforts also pointed up some of the problems when authorities see help from the public.

Crowd-sourcing tools using sites like Twitter, Reddit and 4Chan shared information that may have been helpful. But the virtual dragnet also caught up people who were wrongly accused or at least placed under suspicion by those efforts.

While Boston Police have a very active Twitter account, they had to ask people at the height of the manhunt to stop tweeting information from their own scanner traffic.