During an unprecedented manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings who was captured Friday, there were several stories unfolding online. Reactions to the case led to viral campaigns in support of victims and a variety of bizarre comments on Twitter. Here are some of social media reactions that made headlines this week.
Crowdfunding for victims
Friends have started a crowdfunding campaign to help with medical bills for Boston Marathon victim Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs during one of the bomb explosions.
A graphic image of Bauman being escorted in a wheelchair with most of his legs blown off went viral soon after the bombings on Monday. Bauman also made headlines after giving law enforcement critical information about the suspects when he awoke from emergency care.
Over 8,400 people have donated to “Bucks for Bauman,” on the crowdfunding website gofundme.com. So far, $342,389 (U.S.) has been donated, and other campaigns for Bauman are being re-directed to this one.
The funds will pay for Bauman’s surgery, ongoing medical care, and physical therapy, according to ThinkProgress.org.
Other crowdfunding campaigns have been set up for others who were injured during the bombings. A campaign set up for a mother and daughter who each lost both legs while watching the marathon raised more than $200,000 in just over a day.
Czech Republic and Chechnya: Not the same country
The Czech ambassador to the U.S. released a statement on Friday explaining to the public that the Czech Republic and Chechnya are not the same country.
“I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect,” ambassador Peter Candalovic wrote. “The Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation.”
Several Twitters users posted on Friday that they were shocked Boston Marathon bombing suspects were from the Czech Republic.
“What did America ever do to the Czech Republic? Where even is the Czech Republic? Have fun with the devil terrorboy,” one user posted.
Cadalovic noted that the Czech Republic “is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism.”
List of people who think Tsarnaev is “hot”
The website BuzzFeed posted a collection of several screenshots from Twitter entitled “27 People Who Think Alleged Bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev Is Hot.”
The screenshots are tweets and Twitter replies from users (whose usernames are blurred out) commenting on Tsarnaev’s looks.
“Is it bad of me to think that the 2nd bomber at Boston looks kinda cute…? My taste in men is…questionable. It’s gotten out of hand,” one user wrote.
“Wtf why does the 19 year old suspected bomber have to be cute?” another said.
Over 113,000 people have viewed the post since Friday, and commenters had mixed reactions.
“People are dumb. Not for thinking he’s cute, because that’s your opinion and that’s whatever,” Meggie Leigh wrote. “But you don’t need to put everything you think on social media.”
“It’s fine that you think he’s cute. I don’t think any less of you for it,” Hannah Rhoades wrote. “But there is a time and place for everything and this is not it. How would you feel [if] you lost someone in the attacks and then got on the internet and saw all these stupid little girls talking about how attractive he is? It’s insensitive and thoughtless.”