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TikTok Detectives Trying To Solve Gabby Petito Case — But Are They Helping Or Hurting??

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The disappearance of Gabby Petito captured national attention — but some of the social media users following the case may have taken their interest too far.As weve been reporting, the case of the missing “Van Life” YouTuber blew up after her family reported her missing on September 11. Many on social media rallied to gather clues regarding Gabbys location, while others turned their suspicions to her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, who returned home to Florida without her shortly before disappearing himself.Related: Gabby Petitos ‘Odd’ Final Text Revealed In Unsealed Search WarrantTikTok in particular has pounced on the mystery: the “Gabby Petito” hashtag has more than 600 MILLION views. Users following the case have posted multiple updates on the situation, while comment section discussions are analyzing body language, spouting theories, and frequently exclaiming that “TikTok is going to solve this before the police does!”But has the platform’s investment with Gabbys story actually been helpful? As we previously reported, one viral video speculated about Brian reading the novel Annihilation, claiming the story was about “missing women” and stating that the “information needs to be handed over to the police.” But the book is a fairly popular science fiction story, the details of which have very few similarities to Gabbys case — as author Jeff VanderMeer was forced to point out on Twitter .Just going to say that Annihilation is not about missing women or anything else that is beginning to churn up from tiktok.— Jeff VanderMeer September 19, 2021Even the most successful example of social medias involvement seems to have had its downsides. Some fellow travel YouTubers revealed that they had spotted Gabby and Brians van in Grand Teton National Park, close to where the body believed to be hers was found. Even though the couple said in their video that they had already shared their info with the FBI, followers must have begun reporting it anyway, as her family then had to release a statement on the “Wheres Gabby” Facebook page:“We have this video, so does the FBI – We believe this is the van for multiple reasons. Please do not clog up the tip line with the same video. This is in the hands of the right people.”Weve seen in the past how social media gang-ups can be detrimental to investigations — like when online lookie-loos “falsely identified several people in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing,” per USA Today. With Brian missing, theres danger of a similar phenomenon happening again, as TikTokers point fingers at potentially innocent bystandsers.@whereisgabbypetitoThis man is not confirmed to be Brian but just a thought thats all ##gabbypetito ##brianlaundrie ##whereisgabby ##whereisbrian ##crimetok ##weird ##whereisshe Tiptoe Through The Tulips – Sterling FournierPossible #BrianLaundrie sighting in Baker, FL. Looks to be moving on foot, and must have hitchhiked there. Do not pick this man up! pic.twitter.com/qtbAYgBa7U— True Crime Daily September 21, 2021The North Port Police Departments public information officer Josh Taylor told BuzzFeed News the department has received “an influx of tips” about Gabbys case. He explained:“Social media has helped us solve a lot of crimes. You have to take the good with the bad; You might get a thousand completely insane pieces of information, but that one piece that might be the missing piece to the puzzle, its important.”Related: Did This TikToker Actually Pick Up A Hitchhiking Brian Laundrie?Gabbys case has also sparked a debate about the ethics of true crime “fandom”: is it okay for TikTokers to be monetizing their wild conspiracy theories about an ongoing investigation, concerning a young woman who is presumed dead? And, as many Twitter users have pointed out, where is this energy for missing Black, Indigenous, and other non-white women?does anyone else think the true crime obsession is a little weird and just a microcosm of the wider phenomenon of the spectacle of violence & death thats inherent to western civil society— read no name in the street by james baldwin September 19, 2021Hey, true crime junkies, maybe you shouldnt look so excited about Gabby Petitos case when you post on YouTube and TikTok; shes a human being, NOT a murder mystery board game.— Big bag bussin' Bill Murray September 18, 2021Maybe the conversation could be more about how a woman in a violent relationship was murdered, & how it happens all the time. I know we love the true crime but this is not a podcast yet. It's a dead real human person.— Laurie White September 20, 2021really uncomfortable to see how this entire site is using the gabby petito situation to live out their true crime fantasies. like, thats a real girl whos missing… in danger or already dead, and theyre treating it like its a tv drama. posting memes and everything. gross.— em September 18, 2021Soooooo. Yall ready to put all that gusto, true crime hype, podcast energy and such into MMIW2S? Into BIPOC missing ppl. Into missing SW? Or at we stopping at pretty and blonde. Just wondering for a friend. Also.. yall better be donating all that monetization to her family— Kris – Dusk Dove September 20, 2021Its definitely a complicated, sticky subject to tackle. Ultimately, it seems law enforcement and Gabbys family are grateful for the attention on the case. But there are certainly valid criticisms to consider, and calling for more empathy from true crime followers cant be a bad thing.But what do U think, Perezcious readers? Does the tone of true crime TikTok rub you the wrong way? Or do you think the amateur investigators are helpful to the case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments .The post TikTok Detectives Trying To Solve Gabby Petito Case — But Are They Helping Or Hurting?? appeared first on Perez Hilton.Perez Hilton

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