Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The kerning sleuths are on the case. Is law enforcement foolishly listening to them?

by digby

This post by Greg Mitchell is scares the bejeezuz out of me and I really, really hope his speculation isn't true.  He reports that on Reddit yesterday, amateur sleuths were combing pictures of the Boston Bombing and picking out possible "suspects."  This  led to a one of the targets coming forward to protest their innocence and having to go to the police to clear it all up. It was a high school athlete and his coach hanging out at the marathon. Reddit monitors eventually shut down the witchhunt and some contributors expressed regret.

It's not a pretty story, but it may not be the the worst of it:
Okay, end of story and not at all surprising, right? The problem is, from stories in news outlets and on cable TV (such as here), you might conclude that the two suspects that the feds had allegedly "IDed" were, indeed, these two men. The FBI showed some media folks photos and--can't be sure--but they may have been the same shots that Reddit posters obsessed over. The media descriptions match up, although missing the backwards baseball cap. The New York Post even put their photos on its front page today ("Bag Men"), referring to them as the FBI's suspects, and claiming the photo was emailed to reporters by the feds. 
It's quite possible, as we know, that the media (and certainly the Post) could be wrong about this, and the feds have IDed two other men, but it at least raises the question: Did the online sleuths point the official probers in the wrong direction and that, actually, the whole official and media "ID" claim from yesterday is now totally bogus? Or is the FBI distributing photos of two other men? 
This can be settled if a reputable news outlet comes forward now and says that they were sent photos by FBI--and yes, they featured those two men, or did not. One also wonders if FBI twice cancelled press conferences yesterday after they realized their "suspects" were bogus?
I fervently hope that the leaks to the press yesterday about finding and arresting a "suspect" was not based on some information gleaned from some "kerning experts" (long time blog readers will know what that means) on Reddit. I really would start to be frightened for our safety, especially considering the hundred of billions that are spent on law enforcement in this country.

But let's just say that it wouldn't be surprising if this is exactly what happened.  The media didn't completely make up their clown show script yesterday.  Yes, none of them used any common sense and asked whether it made sense that they could have so easily "identified" someone in the crowd and arrested them so quickly.  But they got this information from law enforcement, not from Reddit.

As Mitchell says, and Atrios said yesterday, it's time for some people in the press to talk about this.  We need to know if our very expensive policing agencies are using Reddit crowdsourcing to do their work for them.  Everyone knows we need to cut some fat out of the budget and if this is how they do their work they obviously don't need all that money.