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UK Poker Pro 'Oops777' Initiates Reddit Hunt for Boston Bomber
In the aftermath of the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon, a 23-year-old poker pro from the UK is getting credit for initiating an internet investigation targeting potential suspects in the crowd.
According to BuzzFeed FWD, the poker pro, identified only as "Oops777," created the Reddit subforum /r/findbostonbombers/ which has since expanded into a widescale crowdsourcing analysis of photos and video taken before and after the bombings.
"People were already speculating on suspicious people in the crowds," he told BuzzFeed. "I found something very weird which is the first post I made [in the subreddit]."
That post was titled "Two suspicious Males" and highlighted two men found in several photos taken of the crowd near the marathon finish line.
Both are carrying black backpacks - the reported vehicle used to carry and disguise the homemade pressure-cooker bombs.
Line Between Helping and Misidentifying Suspects Blurred
Thousands of Reddit users have since contributed photos and analysis with many of the images going viral. Many of the images have, however, brought suspicion and mainstream media coverage to innocent bystanders, as well as the exposing of their personal information.
Oops777 cautioned in several follow-up threads that the purpose of the forum was not to "out" personal information but to help provide the FBI with information to aid in the investigation.
Users were also quick to downplay ideas of vigilanteism and racial profiling, citing the case of Richard Jewell and the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing in which Jewell was falsely accused and then later fully cleared.
More on the ongoing investigation from the Daily Mail here.