Having the public pitch in and help with an investigation of crimes is nothing new. Part of the law of attraction of "America's Most Wanted" with John Walsh has been his ability to turn ordinary citizens into volunteer crime-stoppers.
The new version of that is crowdsourcing investigations on the Internet. As THE WASHINGTON POST reports, simultaneously with the FBI search for the bombers are the parallel ones on the Internet.
Sometimes that sleuthing in cyberspace is a disaster and sometimes it's helpful. Those on Reddit had identified the wrong man as the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. In a sense it was a People's crusade. The man wrongly identified as the bomber was harassed on Facebook to the point that he turned himself into the police. When he did the police had no idea that in cyberspace he had been fingered as the culprit.
Because of that error, this time the FBI has arranged with Reddit just to display the official photos and video it releases. Reddit will not allow any other material. There will probably be a case study about what the Internet sleuthing contributed to the identification and apprehension of those who will convicted of the Boston Marathon two bombings.