Tripathi gained a certain amount of infamy online over the past two weeks after Reddit and, later, some news organizations, falsely identified the student as the infamous white-hatted bomber (who turned out to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev). The awful witch hunt made a nightmarish time for Tripathi's family—reeling from nearly a month without hearing from a brother and son—become much worse after family members began receiving scores of calls from reporters, angry messages from anonymous Internet key board warriors, and hateful posts on a memorial page dedicated to the Ivy Leaguer. The shittiness of the situation led to this apology from a Reddit moderator:
I'd like to extend the deepest apologies to the family of Sunil Tripathi for any part we may have had in relaying what has turned out to be faulty information. We cannot begin to know what you're going through and for that we are truly sorry. Several users, twitter users, and other sources had heard him identified as the suspect and believed it to be confirmed. We were mistaken.
This event shows exactly why the no personal information until confirmation rule is in place. Out of respect for Tripathi and his family, I ask that users here please remove any and all links about him. Thank you.
Tripathi wasn't killed by Reddit falsely accusing him of the Boston Marathon bombings. But let's not forget that there's a cost to being the jackass who says “FIRST.”
[H/T: NBC News]