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Social Media's Influence on the Boston Marathon Bombings

Published: Apr. 18, 2013 at 6:36 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG -- The news spread quickly about the bombings at the Boston Marathon thanks to social media, like Facebook and Twitter. It's the way many people get their news. Now, these sites may help investigators find the suspects responsible.

Investigators are taking advantage of the speed of social media sites. Pictures of the suspects are being circulated on Facebook and Twitter. Investigators hoped that someone may recognize the person in the photos.

Social media experts agree that these sites can be a big help, but we need to be careful that the information we post is accurate.

“Before retweeting and passing along that information, just taking a deep breath and say, 'We may not know this in the next five minutes.' In the social media we expect it right now. We want to know right now. We just have to, I think, all kind of have to collectively calm down and realize that it's helpful, but we have to be careful not to use this tool to the point that it becomes a detriment,” said Brian Kaylor, a social media professor at James Madison University.