Social Media Now How Many Get the News

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RENO -- The investigation in Boston may be the most-public in history, according to UNR journalism professor Todd Felts. Felts attributes that to the spread of information through social media.

"We were in the filter then publish model, we are now in the publish then filter," Felts, who also teaches social media and public relations, said.

Felts urged people to be cautious of information on social media. However, he said: "It will get filtered out it's the crowd filtering it."

UNR student Gabrielle Batista said she first learned of the attack on social media. She said she used it to check on her friends.

"One of my good friends had actually been a runner and was only like a block away and I was so grateful to find out everyone was ok," she said.

Law enforcement has also used social media in its investigation to spread photos of the suspects.

Felts said one of the effects of social networks is a greater demand for immediate information.

"If we're showing the world a bomb explosion at the Boston marathon people are going to demand that instant gratification," he said.