“Modern journalism is a kind of video game…to be silent is to lose points.” How social media editors for mainstream media sites, feeding off the Reddit community, incorrectly identified a missing 22-year-old Brown University student as one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. The family of Sunil Tripathi, who was later found dead, has now been forced to pick up the pieces:

“At 2:43 a.m., a Twitter user named Greg Hughes (@ghughesca), who was previously tweeting things like, ‘In 2013, all you need [is] a connection to the Boston police scanner and a Twitter feed to know what’s up. We don’t even need TV anymore,’ shifted the now-fervid speculation to established fact: ‘BPD scanner has identified the names,’ Hughes tweeted. ‘Suspect 1: Mike Mulugeta Suspect 2: Sunil Tripathi.’ (Hughes has since all but disappeared from the Internet, and where he got this information is unclear.) Seven minutes later, Kevin Galliford, a journalist for a TV station in Hartford, relayed the same information to his own followers; Galliford’s tweet was retweeted more than 1,000 times in a matter of minutes. The next multiplier came from Andrew Kaczynski, another journalist at BuzzFeed, who sent out the police-scanner misinformation to his 90,000 followers and quickly followed up with: ‘Wow Reddit was right about the missing Brown student per the police scanner. Suspect identified as Sunil Tripathi.’