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Canada Prof not surprised after wrong man threatened in Humboldt Broncos bus crash case

18:52  11 july  2018
18:52  11 july  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Right after long-awaited charges were laid in the Humboldt Broncos crash against a semi driver from Calgary, one man © CBC Professor Alec Couros did his own social media search for the name of the man charged in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash , and found hundreds who bear the same name.

Explaining reconstruction investigations after fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash - Продолжительность: 2:39 © CBC Professor Alec Couros did his own social media search for the name of the man charged in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash , and found hundreds who bear the

a man looking at the camera: Professor Alec Couros did his own social media search for the name of the man charged in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, and found hundreds who bear the same name.© CBC Professor Alec Couros did his own social media search for the name of the man charged in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, and found hundreds who bear the same name.

Right after long-awaited charges were laid in the Humboldt Broncos crash against a semi driver from Calgary, one man with the same name faced an onslaught of hateful messages on social media.

After doing a cursory search on Facebook, Alec Couros found hundreds of people listed under the same name as Jaskirat Sidhu, who is charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 of dangerous driving causing injury in the collision.

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Right after long-awaited charges were laid in the Humboldt Broncos crash against a semi driver from Calgary, one man with the same name faced an onslaught of hateful messages on social media. After doing a cursory search on Facebook

Right after long-awaited charges were laid in the Humboldt Broncos crash against a semi driver from Calgary Jaskirat Singh Sidhu is the full name of the man accused in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash . In the Humboldt Broncos case , despite a photo clearly identifying the accused, another

It's not the first time Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, has seen a case like this. For example, a man misidentified as having involvement in the Boston bombing was bombarded with calls, and his family harassed.

The number of people on Twitter and Facebook makes it a lot easier to contact and find out more about people from across the world, but it comes with risks when people are not fully informed, Couros said.

a man wearing a uniform: Truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu walks out of provincial court after appearing for charges due to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Melfort, Sask., on Tuesday.© The Canadian Press Truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu walks out of provincial court after appearing for charges due to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Melfort, Sask., on Tuesday.

"People of course react very quickly when they're emotional, when they want to say something online and they may not do their research. And that's unfortunately very common but very dangerous in cases like this," he said.

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On April 6, 2018, sixteen people were killed and thirteen injured when a westbound semi-trailer truck struck a northbound coach bus near Armley, Saskatchewan, Canada. The semi-trailer had failed to yield at a flashing stop sign at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335.

Explaining reconstruction investigations after fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash - Продолжительность: 2:39 © CBC Professor Alec Couros did his own social media search for the name of the man charged in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash , and found hundreds who bear the

In the Humboldt Broncos case, despite a photo clearly identifying the accused, another man who looks completely different made an open plea on Facebook for people to stop sending him hateful messages.

But harassment can go far beyond messages into physical threats, Couros said.

This mob mentality...can be very dangerous.

- Prof. Alec Couros

"People can do much more damaging or even physically damaging things where they can actually find the person's information, where they live and so this mob mentality although it plays out online in certain ways can be very dangerous," he said.

How to protect yourself

Couros said he recommends that his students put their identity out there to thwart potential misidentifications online.

On the other hand, he said he doesn't want people to contribute to the problem.

"When you see something online that infuriates you, make sure that you have your research," he said.

The Humboldt Broncos situation is an "extreme example" of how online comments and messages can be hurtful, Couros said.

'We're looking for accountability': Father of Humboldt Bronco killed in crash hints at more civil action .
One family has already filed suit against the driver of the semi-trailer that collided with the Broncos bus. More may follow, says Scott Thomas. "I would say that similar discussions have been had by our family," said Scott Thomas, whose son Evan died as a result of the crash last April.

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