By Mike DeNardo
RADNOR, Pa. (CBS) — False speculation on social media that a missing Brown University student from Radnor, Pa. was one of the Boston Marathon bombers has caused even more pain for his family.
After the FBI released photos of two men suspected in the marathon bombings, someone speculated online that one of them looked like Sunil Tripathi, the 22-year-old Brown University student from Radnor who has been missing for more than a month (see related story).
The conjecture went viral, and TV trucks arrived at the Tripathi home in Radnor during the early morning hours, with reporters ready to air the story if it proved true.
But it wasn’t true.
Sunil’s sister Sangeeta says it’s been painful.
“It’s just been a very difficult time,” she said today. “And it’s been very hard to see the real ugly side of viral social media and how many people will publish information that’s completely unsubstantiated.”
Sangeeta says she wishes the energy spent spreading false information online could be directed toward helping to find her missing brother.