The Boston Marathon Bombings case seems to have launched the careers of a thousand amateur sleuths who are posting their work on social networks.
Are the FBI keeping a weather eye on the news-sharing web site Reddit? Maybe they should be. Redditors believe they have already identified one of the hats worn by Suspect 1, whose image was released by the FBI at 5pm ET.
Another Redditor has made a somewhat blurry identification of Suspect 2's hat as a Ralph Lauren Polo cap.
The hat is pictured above. A Redditor's crowd-shot of the back of the suspect's hat is pictured below.
The FBI released photos of two suspects Thursday, urging the public to contact them with any information about them. A special agent warned "other photos should not be deemed credible as they divert the public's attention."
Redditors posted enhanced versions of photos and urged each other to send them to the FBI.
"Damn that's almost clearer then anything the FBI released," wrote Reddit user "MostPremium." Another Redditor agreed: "That is clearer than anything the FBI released," wrote jimmytom93 of the high-resolution image, which the NYTimes confirmed is genuine. (It's posted below.)
But there were comment threads where Redditors speculated on who may be suspects in photos, which had some observers pointing out the dangers of vigilante detective work.
"Even if Reddit had gotten the right guy, I would have still thought this was a dangerous experiment that should not be repeated," the Atlantic wrote.