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Reddit Banned 'Find Navy Yard Shooters' Group

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When news of the Navy Yard shooting broke, members of the online community Reddit created a separate group called "Find Navy Yard Shooters," which was quickly banned by Reddit's managers.

But Reddit said shutting down the site had nothing to do with the fact that it had to apologize for incorrectly pointing fingers at the wrong people in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

About an hour after its creation, Erik Martin, the general manager of Reddit, and other Reddit employees banned all users from posting in the group.

However, Martin said that the sensitive nature of the Navy Yard didn't impact his and his colleagues' decision to ban it. Instead, he cites the rules of Reddit as the reason for banning the Navy Yard group, which he said was meant to be a joke.

"This subreddit still encouraged users to directly submit personal information, even if it was a joke," said Martin. "Our policy is and has always been no posting of personal information under any circumstances."

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings this past April, members of Reddit and other social communities took it upon themselves to find clues as to who did it. A Reddit group devoted to finding the Boston Marathon bombers looked at photos of the exploded bags and compared it to photos of specific people crowd in the marathon crowds before the bombings.

Reddit administrators removed posts that speculated whether the people tagged were the actual bombers or not, especially after a Reddit user said that one of the circled people saw that his Facebook information was leaked.

Reddit later apologized for the site suggesting bomb suspects.

Martin downplayed the Navy Yard group.

"It was a joke. No one in there was sincerely trying to find the Navy Yard shooter," Martin said.

"There were only six posts to this subreddit and only five comments total," he said. "There was not a lot of traffic going to this group."

If Reddit users wanted more information about the Navy Yard incident, Martin points to the Washington, D.C. group. "The DC subreddit was very informative. There, some users kept an update on what schools were shut down and other users who worked in buildings around Navy Yard shared their feelings," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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