Web giants allowed fake news to flow on Las Vegas shooting

Web giants allowed fake news to flow on Las Vegas shooting

Las Vegas police say Stephen Craig Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, fired down on concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino hotel, killing at least 59 people and wounding more than 500 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern us history.

In the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a festival near the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas that killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds, fake news stories and hoaxes about the shooter and victims flooded social media.

4chan's inclusion anywhere near Google News' "authoritative" list is a troubling one, since 4chan users have consistently and repeatedly used the site to promote false stories about newsworthy figures.

Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider's 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".

The Gateway Pundit said the attacker was reportedly an anti-Trump Democrat, a lover of liberal TV host Rachel Maddow, and a "far-left loon". They also got a number of news posts from highly questionable sources.

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But the less-than-reliable news circulating in the aftermath of the Las Vegas attack didn't stop with Google.

After news outlets pointed out false reports from the 4chan message board were appearing at the top of Google search results, the internet giant said it acted to correct the problem. "Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results.This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future". But according to some background bullet points a Google spokesperson shared with a journalist from The Outline, the company admitted that "when the 4chan story broke, it triggered Top Stories which unfortunately led to this inaccurate result".

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", a Facebook spokesman said in a statement.

Fake news from the shooting may have gotten its first push from Twitter, with false reports appearing within minutes of the shooting, Buzzfeed reported.

Danley's name is also being circulated by far-right Twitter accounts.

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