Entries in Reddit (3)


Body Pulled From River May Be Brown University Student

The Tripathi Family(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- The Rhode Island medical examiner's office is trying to determine if a body pulled from a river is missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi, who was erroneously linked on social media to the Boston bombings last week.

An autopsy is being conducted on the body; however it was unlikely a positive identification will be made by the end of Wednesday, according to Dara Chadwick, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office.

Tripathi, a 22-year-old philosophy major from Radnor, Pa., was last seen on March 16 but ignited a social media firestorm last week after the FBI released a photograph of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects wearing a white baseball cap.

Amateur sleuths reported a resemblance between the man in the photo and Tripathi, sparking widespread speculation that the missing Ivy League student was the bomber. The speculation became so rampant it propelled Tripathi's name onto the Twitter top trends list.

Tripathi's family wrote on Facebook the attention had been "painful" and they "have known unequivocally all along that neither individual suspected as responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings was Sunil."

On Monday, Reddit general manager Erik Martin apologized for the "dangerous speculation" that "spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties."

"The Reddit staff and the millions of people on Reddit around the world deeply regret that this happened," Martin wrote in a blog post on Monday.

"We all need to look at what happened and make sure that in the future we do everything we can to help and not hinder crisis situations," he said.

The FBI became involved in the search for Tripathi last month, expanding the search across the Northeast after authorities found no signs of him in the Providence, R.I., area.

Sangeeta Tripathi, Sunil's sister, told at the time it was "completely atypical" for her brother to disappear without contacting anyone. His cell phone and wallet were also left at his home, she said.

"He's just a really quiet, smart kid," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Police Investigate Reddit Murder 'Confession'

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- California police are investigating an alleged murder, confessed anonymously on the internet and brought to the authorities' attention by citizen sleuths who believe they may have uncovered the poster's identity.

The San Diego Police Department is picking up where users of the popular website Reddit left off, working to confirm if indeed a murder actually took place and if so, who is responsible, said police spokesman Lt. Kevin Mayer.

"This may be a hoax and it may be real," said Mayer. "We received a tip and our Cold Case Unit is investigating it like any other tip. It may be a hoax, but it's always a good idea to report this kind of information. Sometimes it's the one thing that breaks open a case."

The confession came in an unlikely place, a caption on a photograph of a bear. Reddit users typically admit to innocuous mistakes or misdeeds by adding text to the bear picture to create a meme called Confession Bear.

But this bear had a startling confession.

"My sister had an abusive meth addict boyfriend. I killed him with his own drugs while he was unconscious and they ruled it as an overdose," a user identified only as Naratto wrote.

Within minutes, the post went viral, with thousands of Reddit users wondering if it was true. Hundreds of others began searching for information about Naratto, looking for clues to his identity – his age, location, occupation – mentioned in other comments he had left previously.

"If I had a dollar for every time someone took me… seriously on the internet, I would be able to retire from today alone," Naratto, wrote in response to the comments and questions. "If you want to catch a murderer, get out of your house, put on some f***ing tights and go fight crime."

Users believe the clues point to a 24-year-old San Diego man, and have posted his name and photograph online.

Police said there are currently no suspects because they do not even know if a crime has taken place and therefore won't name anyone as the subject of an investigation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Online Activist Aaron Swartz, 26, Found Dead

Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Aaron Swartz, a precocious web pioneer who advocated for free online content, was found dead in his Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment of an apparent suicide.

Swartz, 26, was discovered hanged in his apartment on Friday, according to The New York Times.

Swartz’s federal trial on computer fraud charges was scheduled to begin next month. In 2011, Swartz was arrested after prosecutors alleged he illegally downloaded millions of scientific journals from an online archive within the Massachusetts Institute of Technology network.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

When Swartz was 14 years old, he helped create RSS software, revolutionizing the way people subscribed to and consumed information online.

As an adult, he co-founded Reddit, a social news website, and rallied against Internet censorship through the political action group Demand Progress.

Technology bloggers paid tribute to the the man who “had more work to do, and who made the world a better place when he did it.”

“Aaron had an unbeatable combination of political insight, technical skill, and intelligence about people and issues,” Cory Doctorow posted on Boing Boing.

And in true Aaron Swartz fashion, Doctorow’s lengthy tribute came with a disclaimer: “To the extent possible under law, Cory Doctorow has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to ‘RIP, Aaron Swartz.’”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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