State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Missing Student Speculated to be Suspect in Bombing

The New York Times this week ran a story about a Brown University student who has been missing since March of this year.  The whole world became very interested in him when someone speculated on a social network site that he may have been one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings who was caught on camera.  All it took was for one person to say something  for all of the social network and quasi-news sites to become ablaze with speculation about this young man named Sunil Tripathi.  The New York Times article was in no way at all accusational, but rather detailed the step-by-step escalation of the rumors.

Internet technology and so forth is like anything else.  It can be used for bad or for good.  We live in a world of instantaneous results but there’s still a right and wrong way to do things and sometimes the right way takes longer.  I’ll be it usually does.    If anyone really thought this man could have been a legitimate suspect they could have gone to the authorities in a responsible manner.  The individuals responsible for spreading these accusations acted with complete disregard for Sunil and his family, who was already suffering with the grief of not knowing where he is. 

The book of Proverbs says that “with his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,” and of course the ninth commandment tells us not to bear false wittness against our neighbor.  Now I sure can’t say that I’m perfect in obeying these commandments.  I slip in the heat of the moment all the time and say things that I don’t know to be true, and sometimes even if they are true they don’t need to be said.  It all depends on the situation.  If I really think a particular person just blew up the town square, it’s pretty clear to me that I should say something, but I’d better do it in a discrete and responsible manner  in case I’m wrong because people really are like a herd of animals, especially in a situation where they are desiring for blame to be assigned and justice administered.  As for slipping in the heat of the moment, well it’s one thing to let something out in the midst of a spontaneous conversation, but you have time to think or dare I even say pray before you hit the button labeled “post” on you computer screen.


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