The problem is that the speed of the internet exceeds the speed of police procedures, and word-of-mouth process. There was a recent case where a student from India was murdered in Manchester, UK; His friends (not anybody official) were posting tributes on Facebook before his parents in India were officially informed. But then it probably involved getting a message from the police in Manchester to the police in his home town, probably through several layers of bureaucracy.
Don't know what happens elsewhere, but when a soldier dies in Afghanistan, it gets reported in the media twice; on day 1 in the form "A soldier from x regiment has been killed" and the next day his name is given out, after the family has been informed. I'm not sure whether that's necessarily a good thing.
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