Social media played a major role in how police and the public received and dispersed the latest information on the investigation in Massachusetts.
It’s law enforcement in the twenty-first century.
Pictures captured by surveillance cameras showed the two men police said planted the bombs that injured more than 170 people and killed three during the Boston Marathon Monday.
Those pictures went viral and led police to the two suspects in Watertown, Massachusetts who then engaged police in a gunfight.
That shootout with police also went viral with people posting a video on social media sites and it`s sites such as Facebook and Twitter that most of the public was getting minute by minute updates on the investigation, including some Stroudsburg high school students.
“Twitter and Sports Center because that`s usually what I watch on TV and that was the first thing I saw, and they all with that all day,” said Justin Pierre.
“Twitter and I take a class at school, global issues and we just talk about all the current events that`s happening,” said Altarique Mosley.
But social media is also where public is posting information, including locations where swat teams were searching.
That led to a tweet from Boston police telling people their posts were endangering the lives of officers.
Bob Werts is the program director for the Monroe County Counter Terrorism Task Force said that`s exactly what that information is doing.
“You`re telling them where police officers are, what they`re doing, the bad guy can be sitting there watching that, you could actually jeopardize the lives of these police officers,” said Werts.
During this investigation, a lot of misinformation has been broadcast by both social and main stream media.
“A lot of rumors, there`s a lot of things, they said that a little girl died. That didn`t happen, it was a little boy. A lot of the information gets switch around,” said Pierre.
“Every other hour there`s like a new story or like something else that coming out or something that wasn`t true,” said Mosley.