As this week's
As this week's "possum hunters” controversy shows, people love to seek out wrong doers identities on social media and hurl abuse - but never seem to wait until details are actually known. Joerg Koch

Gympie 'possum shooter' uproar latest social hunt stupidity

FROM Miss Marple to Sherlock Holmes, everyone loves the idea of a crack sleuth.

It's probably because of the truth that, as a species, we generally suck at figuring things out. So why do we think we are changed into detective gods on social media?

This week's possum hunters piece is the latest entry on an ever-lengthening list that has got to be making the Nile feel inadequate by now.

INCRIMINATING: This photo posted to Instagram of two women, suspected from Gympie, posing with a dead possum and a gun has lead to an RSPCA investigation.
The photo posted to Instagram of two women, suspected from Gympie, posing with a dead possum and a gun has lead to an RSPCA investigation. One of the women involved says it's not the true story of what happened. Contributed

Let's recap two things here.

Thing one: posting this image was unlikely to end well.

Thing two: online jackassery doesn't balance the scales.

Yet here we are, with people cheerfully throwing abuse, insults and threats around like cheap confetti at a Mardi Gras.

Boy and magnifying glass
Social sleuths have a very bad track record on social media. Jacek Chabraszewski

We're eager to outdo ourselves, a depressing idea given gold standards like the 2013 Boston Bomber hunt.

Keyboard warriors were quick on the case, wasting no time harassing and threatening the family of Sunil Tripathi, whom they'd ID'd and was nowhere to be found.

It was a great moment in human achievement - especially when it was discovered Mr Tripathi's disappearance was because he'd committed suicide a month before the bombings.

I'd offer these types of people a slow clap for their work but fear that would be underselling their stupidity.

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