Reddit issued ban on crowdsourced manhunt for D.C. shooter

Yahoo News

Following Monday's mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., website Reddit banned a subcategory of its site dedicated to an amateur manhunt, The Washington Post reported.

Navy Yard suspect Aaron Alexis was shot dead by police on Monday afternoon. Police continue to investigate the possibility of another shooter.

Reddit, a popular community forum, came under criticism following the Boston Marathon bombing in April after users conducted an online manhunt for a suspect. The group falsely identified a 22-year-old Brown University student as one of the bombers.

The person who created the Boston subreddit spoke to Atlantic Wire in April and called the manhunt a "disaster."

Reddit issued an apology for its part after the student was wrongly identified as a Boston bomber.

"We hoped that the crowdsourced search for new information would not spark exactly this type of witch hunt. We were wrong," Reddit General Manager Erik Martin said of the Boston bombing search. "The search for the bombers bore less resemblance to the types of vindictive Internet witch hunts our no-personal-information rule was originally written for, but the outcome was no different."

TechCruch received comment from Martin about the ban on the subreddit dedicated to the D.C. shooter.

By email, Martin told TechCrunch that the subreddit was banned in part because it encouraged "the posting of personal information," something that the site has banned.

A person identifying him- or herself as the creator of the D.C. shooting subreddit spoke to Mashable via email about the ban and expressed relief that it had been taken down.

"I started the [Find Navy Yard Shooters] subreddit as a reaction to and a parody of the FindBostonBombers subreddit," uglyredditors told Mashable in an emailed reply. "I'm glad Reddit and redditors seem to have learned a lesson."