Mistaken identity


I mentioned earlier in the week how people are using new media to try to piece together a picture and make sense of the person who committed the killings at VT. Professor F. also mentioned how the media were using FB to find the friends and family of those who were part of VT and pursue them for information.

But did anyone hear about this guy?
Basically, he was mistaken for the killer because he matched up a lot on a lot of the same points (was student at VT, Asian, gun-nut, recently broken up with girlfriend, etc...)
And the whole thing got blown up to massive proportions, mainly due to the fact that the news was able to get around very quickly because of new media. At the time, people were desperate for information about what was going on and they would hear about the supposed killer on forums, blogs, youtube and even the news. And they then rushed to view this guy's blog and point fingers.

The interesting part is how this guy then used his blog to handle the situation.
He purposely did not correct people on their assumption, even though he could easily have done so just by saying something on his blog. He apparently wanted to use the influx of visitors to raise money for the families of the victims of VT and also give people a space to vent their frustrations.
All in all, a crazy bit of manipulation that could only happen within cyberspace, with this technology.

He's now posted a lot of links to articles about the mistaken finger pointing, and has used the space to explain his actions, express condolences and his own personal reaction and feelings.

If anyone watches the video on youtube, the newscaster actually shows the TV viewers photos right off of FB as evidence that this guy might be the killer.