Facebook admits it promoted fake Vegas massacre stories

04 October, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

Facebook's "Safety Check" feature confronted users with far-right blogs that spat out false information about victims and the shooter.

Fake news is back in a big way and threatening to distort the official version of events in Las Vegas, after Facebook and Google both promoted fallacious online stories that the shooter was an anti-Trump "liberal".

The listing did not appear in Google News. It's unclear what relationship Geary Danley has with Marilou Danley, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

From there, Danley's name and supposed politics spread across right-wing social media, pushed by conservative platforms such as Cougarboard, Dailey Alt News, and USSA News, which describes itself as "The Tea Party's Front Page".

Among those falsely stated to be missing in Las Vegas were a German pro-soccer player, a murder suspect from Mexico and a male porn star - whose pictures were taken from the Internet.

Google, in a statement to news outlets, acknowledged that it had been "briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries".

The 4chan search result was only appearing for queries that included the name [geary danley] but did not appear for general queries related to the shooting, according to a spokesperson.

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The social network said links from Web sites such as "The Gateway Pundit" and others were posted and spread across their site Sunday night.

A link to Danley's Facebook page also made it to the front page but no sources debunking the unfounded allegations levied against him appeared in the first results, nor did any of the sources correctly identifying the shooter as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant. Facebook is expected to share with Congress more than 3,000 examples of ads Russia-linked accounts bought on the platform from 2015 to 2017.

"The 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results".

"However, its removal was delayed by a few minutes, allowing it to be screen captured and circulated online", Facebook said.

"We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused".

Google is touting threads from controversial message board site 4Chan as people look to find out who is behind the Las Vegas shooting massacre.

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