BOSTON — In the chaos that followed the Boston Marathon bombing, the public was stunned and craving facts with the immediacy they've grown accustomed to in the age of the internet.
Some people were understandably frustrated. The tense investigation had seemed to hit a wall and police had lost track of the bombing suspects.
In their rush to move the story forward, some media outlets compromised accuracy.
The New York Post reported inflated fatality numbers, published photos implicating two apparently innocent men as the bombers and wrongly stated a Saudi national had been taken into custody as a suspect.
Fox News and CNN erroneously reported that arrests were made over the bombings, before the final capture of surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
As some reporters stumbled, much of the public flocked to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as the social-bookmarking site Reddit, in search of answers.
The investigation, and its coverage, became an epic effort in crowdsourcing — even though some online sleuths also got it wrong.
Then, late Thursday night, a dramatic shootout shook the quiet streets of a suburb on the outskirts of Boston — Watertown, Mass. One resident's online documentation of the violence outside his window provides what some say are the clearest images of the shootout.
Watertown denizen Andrew Kitzenberg blogged about the shootout on his company's website, www.getonhand.com, and tweeted the event — including bullet holes in his chair and what he said looked like a pressure cooker bomb — in a stunning display of citizen journalism.
On Tuesday, Kitzenberg wrote on his website that the photos were taken down during the ongoing investigation. But Wednesday morning, they were up again.
The following is a selection of tweets from from Kitzenberg's Twitter feed (@AKitz).
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