News media film a live broadcast near the secondary crime scene following a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
As soon as CNN named the alleged suspect said to be behind a horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., I did the natural thing: I looked him up on Facebook.
It wasn't hard to find a match. Within seconds anyone could spot a young man with the same name and hometown listed as Newtown.
I sent a few e-mails with the message: possible shooter, with no intention that it be posted anywhere without confirmation.
Everyone else in the world did the same Facebook search, it was clear.
Moments later, the same picture was flying across Twitter, Facebook and soon found its way onto several TV stations and websites, including briefly, in a moment of confusion, on Sun Media sites. It was quickly removed. For all we knew then, it might have been the wrong guy. We still don't know.
Such is the speed of breaking news in the modern age. In the rush to be first, hundreds, thousands convicted a guy who may or may not have killed 20 children and six adults.