The short-lived r/findnavyyardshooters. The only rule was "NO PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LEADS UNLESS YOU'RE REALLY SURE."

Annoyed users took it upon themselves to shame the subreddit's creator and ask what many others were thinking: Did we learn nothing from the Boston Bombing?

The subreddit was banned shortly after its creation.

Reddit's /findnavyyardshooters Mocks Online Vigilantism

A new subreddit created in response to a deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning mocks the online community's notorious penchant for vigilantism.

Today a series of fatal shootings at the Washington Navy Yard left at least 12 dead, including one suspected gunmen, according to D.C. police. In response to the shootings, several Redditors started discussion threads under the newly created (and quickly deleted) "/findnavyyardshooters" subreddit. The only rule was "NO PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LEADS UNLESS YOU'RE REALLY SURE," a nod to a similarly named /findbostonbombers subreddit, created during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombings in April and since made private by administrators.

While it's not clear if the Navy Yards subreddit itself was meant to be satirical, several of its threads, like this one, which had the title, "Warning: suspect is extremely armed and dangerous," appeared to poke fun at a subset of the Reddit community that has become known for misguided vigilantism that some have called the modern-day witch-hunt.

Many of the /findbostonbombers subreddit's contributors took it upon themselves to conduct a very public, rumor-fueled terrorism investigation that incorrectly identified a missing, deceased Brown University student as the bomber. In the aftermath of the Redditors' incorrect identification, Reddit publicly apologized for the subreddit's activities that "fueled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties." Considering the community's pessimistic reaction to r/findnavyyardshooters and its ultimate banning, has Reddit learned its lesson?

[Image: Flickr Glyn Lowe Photoworks, 1 Million Views, Thanks]

Add New Comment


  • ratchetrandy

    There is no lesson to be learned. Its an online community of regular people that are trying to help by sifting through information, and to do so no one is spared. It sucks than Sunli was dead, but if he WAS the guy, would this article have been written? No. Stop writing meaningless articles and let the internet work. I feel much more comfortable knowing normal people like me are going thru info in a public manner that I can look at than anything else, and so should you.