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Journal Nature Asks Systems Expert About Crowdsourcing Manhunts

Sorting out the role of social media in the search for the Boston bombers, the journal Nature turns to Peter Dodds, associate professor and director of complex systems. Despite problems that occurred with perpetrators being misidentified in this case, Dodds believes the concept is sound. “I think the web-enhanced 'collective detective' is potentially very powerful and is here to stay,” Dodds told Nature, noting that missing children could also be found with these techniques. “But we have to ensure that the distributed social search is always used for good -- for example, that well-intentioned people are prevented from collectively generating errors leading to witch hunts.” Read the story...