Crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing can be defined as the means of gaining information or feedback into a certain task or project by recruiting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, usually through the internet.

Crowdsourcing can help obtain from a large group of people, which can can solve a problem quickly and can help get information much faster. Crowdsourcing is gradually being used more in professsional journalism. journalist can crowdsource information from the crowd, fact check the information and then use it in their article as the want.

However, crowdsourcing is not always a positive thing, one major fail to happen when crowdsourcing was used would be the Boston Marathon bombing. A high-school sophomore, Salah Barhoum, who was being falsely framed of being one of the terrorists responsible for the bombings. “The FBI had not named any suspects yet, but his face was already on the cover of the NY Post, labeled as a person of interest”. Barhoum was among the few dozen innocent people who were being accused of a terrorist act they had nothing to do with.” In reality, Barhoum and others were not even being investigated by the authorities involved with the case.  Instead, they had been outed by anonymous commenters on Reddit and 4Chan, who believed they were guilty based upon their clothes and appearance.  What started as an atypical request by the FBI to gather evidence from the pubic  quickly morphed into a much uglier digital witch hunt, one where the crowd’s fears, prejudices, and suspicions were given credence, while guilt and innocence were doled out based on shreds of circumstantial evidence”.

Information today can spread like wildfire in just seconds. Getting information in a scenario like the Boston Marthon bombing, although helpful, might not always be the best choice.

Sources:

http://www.cjr.org/data_points/crowdsourcing_done_right.php

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarunwadhwa/2013/04/22/lessons-from-crowdsourcing-the-boston-marathon-bombings-investigation/#485e9b4f12b5

 

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