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

Discussion in 'Kyron Horman' started by BeanE, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    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/story.php?story_id=127732859244956200
     
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  3. Wise Old Owl

    Wise Old Owl 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
     
  4. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    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 :(
     
  5. Wise Old Owl

    Wise Old Owl 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.......
     
  6. Barry

    Barry Registered Fence Sitter

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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.
     
  7. Calliope

    Calliope Former Member

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    Sharks.
     
  8. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    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.

    :cow:
     
  9. sarah7855

    sarah7855 Where is Kyron?

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    We're pulling for you, Kyron.
     
  10. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    ? What do you mean, Calliope?
     
  11. Calliope

    Calliope Former Member

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    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.
     
  12. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  13. Kimster

    Kimster Former Member

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    Welcome to Websleuths and Kyron's forum! :blowkiss: And thank you for recognizing what our goal is - to help solve crimes in a constructive way! :woohoo:
     
  14. Chili Fries

    Chili Fries Man Sleuth

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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.
     
  15. slug

    slug New Member

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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.
     
  16. miabellamoure

    miabellamoure New Member

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    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...:(
     
  17. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    The way I look at it is that internet chatter is the voice of our society. I don't see its function as a tool of LE, but as a witness to the crime, the job that LE is doing, and the justice that gives society its moral center. The disappearance of a young child is a huge wound to our collective sense of what humans are to each other, and we are all involved in every crime.

    However, since the reaction is collective, the singular voices are going to vary wildly. Some members of society are, frankly, nasty dirtbags; others are naive or have an unrelated agenda or psychological fixation that skews their judgment. But, taken as a whole, I think a large number of people witnessing what is happening and voicing their opinions leads us close to the truth in most cases. I think LE can filter out the unhelpful chatter and gain insight from the whole.

    I also think that if huge numbers of people think you're doing something suspicious, you probably are. The analogy I've seen to "witch hunts" fails, IMO, to take into account that witch hunts were conducted by superstitious people in insular societies where information was extremely limited and the "powers that be" had a vested interest in witch hunting. Nowadays, information is widely and instantly available and we're as free as we've ever been to have our own voices and come to our own, well-founded conclusions, based on a wide knowledge of the world and our fellow humans -- I don't mean everybody does that, just that, taken as a whole, a free, vocal society tends toward insight.

    That said, I'm extremely thankful that Websleuths insists that the input here is well-founded, sensitive and courteous and also thankful that my fellow posters don't stand for a weak argument. i don't post (or even read) any other crime site because of the atmosphere of civility and the quality of argument here.
     
  18. nursebeeme

    nursebeeme Registered User

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    stead, that was well said!
     
  19. scandi

    scandi New Member

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    So what can we do here that might help steer LE to things we have read or been told that might help them look at something new?

    Sometimes I will throw a simple thought out here, not a rumor, but an idea that might lead back to something I've heard or read. It is a bit tricky. Like, I wonder if the white truck was the only car she was seen driving on June 4th? I wonder if she had committed to attending the Talent Show in the afternoon?

    So I wonder as I wander thru the posts and hope little ideas like this can help the internet make a positive difference in solving Kyron's case, bringing him back home. xox


    PS: I hope this is the kind of input you meant BeanE.
     
  20. CaringCitizen

    CaringCitizen advocate

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    Couldn't have said it any better. So, I'll just leave it at:

    "What Stead said".

    Great post!!
     
  21. T-Rex

    T-Rex New Member

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    In this particular case, I don't think it's doing any good, because LE has practically issued a gag-order on those with info. But it can be used to help.
     

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