Although we’ve changed gears, I wanted to call attention to Sunil Tripathi and this excellent story by the New York Times, Should Reddit Be Blamed For the Spreading of Smear. This is something I really wish I had brought up when we were talking about The Circle. To summarize, Sunil Tripathi was a college student who was experiencing some serious mental health issues and who was missing at the time of the Boston Marathon bombing. His slight resemblance to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lead to a huge misinformed internet campaign to track him down. This story really demonstrates how horribly wrong crowdsourcing can go. It’s very much in keeping with Eggers’ theme of knowledge v. information.
I’d really love to hear if the class agrees that this is exactly the kind of thing Eggers is trying to warn us about.