Right-wing websites ID Las Vegas shooter as Geary Danley, the wrong guy

Right-wing websites ID Las Vegas shooter as Geary Danley, the wrong guy

As law enforcement and news organizations raced to piece together what happened during the worst mass shooting in modern US history Sunday night in Las Vegas, web denizens less wedded to the truth rushed in to provide details of their own - which quickly went viral.

On Facebook's dedicated "Safety Check" page for the Las Vegas massacre-which says it lets users "connect with friends and family and find and give help after a crisis"-one of the top stories earlier today was from a Blogspot titled "Alt-Right News".

Google changed its algorithms in October 2014 so that non-journalistic sites could still be included in the "in the news" section. As of press time, Google has not responded to Ars' request to confirm the legitimacy of this reposted e-mail. There are multiple reports that Danley accompanied the assailant - ID'd as Stephen Paddock by local authorities - and that she would likely have insights into what spawned such a disgusting attack.

But the less-than-reliable news circulating in the aftermath of the Las Vegas attack didn't stop with Google. "When the fresh 4chan story broke, it triggered Top Stories, which unfortunately led to this inaccurate result", the statement reads.

The post suggested that the killer may have been "a Trump-hating Rachel Maddow fan" in an apparent reference to the misidentified Danley's Facebook page. "This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future", a spokesperson told Bloomberg.




Two out of four results are 4chan threads from the online lair of the alt-right, /pol/, which is infamous for trolling and spreading misinformation and fake news (another is Iranian state-funded Press TV).

"The fake news was algorithmically replaced by relevant results within hours".

Facebook said its security staff had seen the post and removed it. "We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused", Fast Company quoted the social media giant as saying.

The false identification of Danley as the suspected shooter wasn't the only hoax that spread overnight Sunday into Monday morning.

There were also several social media users who spread fake "missing friends" photos on Twitter, including the fake Twitter account Jack Sins, who shared a photo of a man claiming to be his missing father.

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