09/16/2013 05:14 pm ET

Reddit Bans Forum That Tried To Find Washington Navy Yard Shooter


On Monday, as authorities searched for the person responsible for shooting and killing 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, Redditors tried to take the matter into their own hands.

Emphasis, of course, is on tried, since Reddit quickly banned the page, called "findnavyyardshooters." The page, or subreddit, as these pages are called, was taken down within hours of creation, Mashable reports.

Last April, when a bomb exploded during the Boston Marathon, a group of Redditors created the subreddit "Findthebostonbombers," in an attempt to track down those responsible for the bombing. This effort turned into a disaster, as false accusations and misinformation spread through the thread.

In that subreddit, one of the bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was misidentified as missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi. Tripathi's body was eventually discovered in Rhode Island.

Reddit issued an official apology on April 22. "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," Erik Martin, Reddit's general manager, wrote.

Reddit seems to have learned its lesson, and "findnavyyardshooters" was quickly abolished. "We banned it because it violated site rules by encouraging the posting of personal information," Martin told the Washington Post. "The quote from the side bar [of] that subreddit that was banned said 'no personal information about leads unless you are really sure.' We do not allow the posting of personal information under any circumstances."



19 Wildly Specific Subreddits