Monday, December 2, 2013

Discussion Leader Week 14, "Should Reddit Be Blamed for the Spreading of a Smear," Chris Picazo


The article “Should Reddit Be Blamed for the Spreading of a Smear?” discusses the effect that individuals can have in the media by posting a story that can quickly spread all over.  The story began with a Reddit user who posted a side by side photo of a missing student, Sunil Tripathi, and then Boston bombing suspect number two, and claimed both were the same person and that is the reason for Tripathi’s missing.  This post spread to the police, the FBI, news outlets and many celebrity bloggers and they quickly spread the news to their followers that both people are indeed the same person.  The truth came out later and it was discovered that the photos were of different people and the masses blamed the Reddit for the spreading of the false news.


1. Do you think Reddit is to blame for the spreading of the false news?
2.  In lecture, we discussed that some news outlets release news and statements without fact checking because they want to be the first news outlet to release the news. Do you think this is what happened here? 
3. It was said in the article that a Boston police scanner started the false mass spread of news by stating Sunil Tripathi was the second suspect of the bombing. Do you think this is enough evidence for a news outlet to spread news or do you think more background checking and research should be done before news is released? 
4. Reddit has generated five billion views with over 70 million visitors a month and the number of posters doubles every month.  Do you think websites such as Reddit, have more influence over people with news content than actual news stations? 
5. A quote from the article says, “News has become filtered, bureaucratic and slow.  Reddit is the opposite of that.  It’s fast, unfiltered and transpired. There will always be a need for that sort of information.”  Do you agree with this statement that we really do not need news if individuals can post whatever news they want online?
6. The Tripathi’s family personal privacy was violated after people had accused Sunil to be the bombing suspect.  It is stated that with the internet and sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. nothing is ever private and people should expect to be watched at all times whenever they go out in public.  How do people feel about that? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think this is a problem that our society faces today? 

With the media today, nothing is really protected once it is out in the open for everyone to see.  The false news of the Sunil Tripathi being the Boston bombing suspect spread like wildfire after a post by a user on Reddit.  The post and spreading of the news shows how powerful the media is spreading news and that once something is said online, true or false, people will believe it. 

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