As journalists cover the news unfolding in Boston, they’ve been searching for answers about the suspects. Some have reported information about the suspects’ apparent social media accounts in hopes of finding out more about them and their motives.
The reports are a reminder to be careful when reporting on social media profiles and to not read too deeply into them.
Some journalists and news outlets have been tweeting about one of the suspect’s accounts on VKontake — a Russian-language social media site.
BREAKING: Boston suspect’s social media page links to Islamic sites, titles like “Salamworld, my religion is Islam” yhoo.it/13v9hnW
— Yahoo! News (@YahooNews) April 19, 2013
That last link was from Gateway Pundit, about suspect’sV Kontake account (similar to Facebook). thegatewaypundit.com/2013/04/boston…
— Patrick LaForge, NYT (@palafo) April 19, 2013
Other journalists have offered words of caution, noting that there’s at least one fake Twitter account for one of the suspects:
— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) April 19, 2013
In the past year or so, there have been fake Twitter accounts for Cokie Roberts, the former New York Times ombudsman, and former North Carolina governor Bev Perdue. Here are some tips on verifying information on and about social media.