The VICE Channels

    Reddit Is Going to Find the Navy Yard Shooters, Too [Update: The Subreddit Is Already Banned]

    Written by

    Brian Merchant

    Senior Editor

    After Reddit's bang-up performance in locating the Boston Bombers, some users have banded together to launch a crowd-sourced effort to identify today's DC Navy Yard shooters, too. 

    Here's how it's going:

    The whole thread might be a joke—it was started by a user called "uglyredditors," who seems to be trolling— and it's nice to see Redditors displaying some self-awareness here.

    For what it's worth, Reddit users' efforts to find the Boston bombers were a bit unfairly singled out in the mad free-for-all social media melange of misinformation that marred reportage on the event, where reporter's tweets were picked up by respected outlets and hearsay police blotter entries were blogged as fact. Plenty of non-Reddit users blew it big time, too, and the problem goes a lot further than a handful of feckless online vigilantes.

    But still. Reddit failed hard last time, and if this is in fact real, then doubling down with the feeble caveat "Any thing goes but there's one rule: NO PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LEADS UNLESS YOU'RE REALLY SURE" is obviously the worst idea on the internet today. 

    UPDATE: Reddit has already banned the subreddit, according to The Washington Post. Joke or no, Reddit's apparently not risking another PR nightmare.