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  1. #1

    The Internet & Kyron's Case - Helping or Hurting?

    There have been several articles about the internet and Kyron's case, with commentary on whether it's helping or hurting, and how it's helping or hurting. I thought we could use a thread to discuss this.

    Not discussing case related info we find on different sites - we have topic threads for that - but just the internet in general and how it's helping and/or hurting Kyron's case.

    Maybe we can focus on ideas for how we at WS have helped LE for years in many cases, and how we can apply that to what we can do specifically for Kyron.

    Here's today's article:

    Web chatter can aid or impede investigations
    Boy’s case shows how social media helps – and how it hurts
    The Portland Tribune, Jun 24, 2010

    Yet, this week Knowlton found herself confronting the unseemly side of social media: the inability to control the “trolls” – Internet slang for people who leave inflammatory comments on discussion boards.

    Trolls on the Facebook page – as well as those who comment on various news sites and on independently run blogs across the country – have tried to indict Kyron’s family members for the crime and made mean-spirited remarks about Kyron’s physical appearance.

    When Knowlton told her readers she would be deleting those types of posts without warning, people accused her of being biased and unfair and violating their free-speech rights. They asked her to relinquish the site.

    They also alleged she was defending Kyron’s family because she must be the mother of Kyron’s stepmom, Terri Moulton Horman – because Moulton rhymes with Knowlton.

    “I have never met Mrs. Horman and I am not her mother, nor am I related in any way to this family,” Knowlton wrote. “I have tried to explain that I have been with the Child Seek Network since it was founded and that I am just a mom, grandmother and lady who is passionate about missing children!”

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/...32859244956200

  2. #2
    Wise Old Owl's Avatar
    Wise Old Owl is offline Retired WS Staff & Founding member of AFKBPOFPOPL
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    I think its a double edged sword. While it would be advantageous for LE to monitor the net and see who is saying what - possible new leads, etc. It can also be very hurtful and nasty to the family who are suffering.

    JMO

  3. #3
    It's a ton of info to sift through. If you read across the many sites out there discussing Kyron's case, they're pretty much all talking about the same things. What LE needs is those little nuggets of new/different leads.

    I always imagine LE receiving tons of calls, many on the same info because of this. But overall, I think because of the sheer numbers of people who are doing just that - talking about the case, going over and over the details, there's a very high chance of some new/different angle being discovered, and all it takes is that one call to the tip line, and it could be very helpful to LE.

    If not directly, it might in turn, because they have investigative tools we don't have, direct access to all the people in the case, and info we don't have, they can take our little nuggets and put them together, and maybe come up with something that really helps.

    There's a lot of stuff that's hurtful, but I try to focus on the known facts, and put them together, and come up with something I can call in as a tip. Unfortunately, on Kyron's case, I haven't come up with any tips yet I've had more success on other cases, and I feel bad I haven't come up with anything that might help Kyron yet

  4. #4
    Wise Old Owl's Avatar
    Wise Old Owl is offline Retired WS Staff & Founding member of AFKBPOFPOPL
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    I also believe that LE's all over the country should have people designated to simply monitor the net on cases they are working on - albeit cases that have gone "national" - Caylee, Haleigh, Kyron, etc. - as well as local cases, of course monitoring local boards.

    I have yet to find a "board, blog, cyberspace place" monitored as well as Websleuths - not a one. Mostly my local boards are horrendous with little to no moderation.

    I do believe we are one board that LE all over, everywhere, watch. Our members are somewhat vetted and our mods work their little tailfeathers off making sure we "keep it in line". Plus, the sheer scope of all that we cover - I have yet to find a board with EVERYTHING we have.

    JMO and FWIW and all.......

  5. #5
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    On a well moderated site such as this one, I don't believe it's an impediment, and it's possible someone might come up with something useful. Less moderated sites and blogs can be detrimental and cause pain to a lot of people, IMO.

  6. #6
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    Sharks.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    I also believe that LE's all over the country should have people designated to simply monitor the net on cases they are working on - albeit cases that have gone "national" - Caylee, Haleigh, Kyron, etc. - as well as local cases, of course monitoring local boards.

    I have yet to find a "board, blog, cyberspace place" monitored as well as Websleuths - not a one. Mostly my local boards are horrendous with little to no moderation.

    I do believe we are one board that LE all over, everywhere, watch. Our members are somewhat vetted and our mods work their little tailfeathers off making sure we "keep it in line". Plus, the sheer scope of all that we cover - I have yet to find a board with EVERYTHING we have.

    JMO and FWIW and all.......
    Agreed. Where there is guidance and focus to discussions, the discussions are productive, constructive, and have far more chance of resulting in real leads that could help a case.

    Wild and wooly gossip sites could only lead to something constructive by accident/coincidence.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanE View Post
    Here's today's article:

    Web chatter can aid or impede investigations
    Boy’s case shows how social media helps – and how it hurts
    The Portland Tribune, Jun 24, 2010

    Yet, this week Knowlton found herself confronting the unseemly side of social media: the inability to control the “trolls” – Internet slang for people who leave inflammatory comments on discussion boards.

    Trolls on the Facebook page – as well as those who comment on various news sites and on independently run blogs across the country – have tried to indict Kyron’s family members for the crime and made mean-spirited remarks about Kyron’s physical appearance.

    When Knowlton told her readers she would be deleting those types of posts without warning, people accused her of being biased and unfair and violating their free-speech rights. They asked her to relinquish the site.

    They also alleged she was defending Kyron’s family because she must be the mother of Kyron’s stepmom, Terri Moulton Horman – because Moulton rhymes with Knowlton.

    “I have never met Mrs. Horman and I am not her mother, nor am I related in any way to this family,” Knowlton wrote. “I have tried to explain that I have been with the Child Seek Network since it was founded and that I am just a mom, grandmother and lady who is passionate about missing children!”

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/...32859244956200
    RSBM & BBM

    Seriously?? People have made remarks about Kyron's appearance?! OMG!! He's a beautiful child of God! Shame on anyone else who says differently.



    We're pulling for you, Kyron.

    The truest love there is

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Calliope View Post
    Sharks.
    ? What do you mean, Calliope?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanE View Post
    ? What do you mean, Calliope?
    I can't take credit, but then I can't give credit where due because I don't recall who said it... it was on one of the old threads before the forum was created.

    The person described these people with their nasty, hateful, hurtful comments as "sharks", attacking in a veritable feeding frenzy whenever some little tidbit of info is released, with every appearance or statement, etc.

    IMO the analogy is spot on.


  11. #11
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    I agree, double edged sword. Forums as well monitored as WS are the exception, not the rule. I also agree that LE does pop in here. Other sites are not well moderated, if at all, and some really hateful, hurtful, nasty things are said, not just in this case but in all that garner national attention. It is regretable that the anonymity that the internet affords many people the opportunity to get intimately in touch with the ugliest side of their natures.

    But the bell of instant news and the web cannot be unrung. This is the reality we occupy now. All we (Websleuths) can do is try to remember our focus which is the victims, and not further victimize innocents in the process.
    Last edited by tlcya; 06-24-2010 at 12:26 PM.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    On a well moderated site such as this one, I don't believe it's an impediment, and it's possible someone might come up with something useful. Less moderated sites and blogs can be detrimental and cause pain to a lot of people, IMO.
    Welcome to Websleuths and Kyron's forum! And thank you for recognizing what our goal is - to help solve crimes in a constructive way!

  13. #13
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    Websleuths definitely contributes to the crush of the information hungry online populace. Beyond what any one person writes, accurate or not, LE faces a different public than it did even 5 years ago. The internet has become fully mainstream and that growth means LE departments have to design strategies to deal with the new reality. One thing I didn't see in that article is the effect it has on tips. I read a story yesterday talking about the frustration people who send in tips feel when LE takes a while to get back to them. I have no doubt that the expanded online interest directly affects the amount of tips LE has to deal with. I'm sure it's a mixed blessing, they get way more fairly frivolous tips while still generating a greater percentage of real leads.

  14. #14
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    a constructive discussion can be very helpful because someone from the area may read something and think hang on i saw _______ . but people being abusive with the annonyimity of the internet is going to hurt those involved.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah7855 View Post
    RSBM & BBM

    Seriously?? People have made remarks about Kyron's appearance?! OMG!! He's a beautiful child of God! Shame on anyone else who says differently.



    We're pulling for you, Kyron.
    Kyron is absolutely adorable from head to toe and anyone who would speak differently must not be human! His cuteness just makes me wanna do what his "Momma" is longing to do...and run her fingers thru his short hair...

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