Facebook admits it promoted fake Vegas massacre stories

04 October, 2017, 00:28 | Author: Rosa Wright
  • Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

The shooting in Las Vegas, which has killed at least 50 people and injured more than 400, is the deadliest mass shooting in modern us history.

In the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, people turned to Facebook and Google, looking for news about what happened and, in some cases, updates about their friends and loved ones in the area.

Google changed its algorithms in October 2014 so that non-journalistic sites could still be included in the "in the news" section. It's unclear what relationship Geary Danley has with Marilou Danley, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google News took the unusual step of confirming its use of the imageboard site 4chan as a news source on Monday.

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".

Retiree Stephen Paddock shot and killed 59 people at a country music concert on Sunday night (local time), and injured more than 500 more.

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During life-threatening events, Safety Check lets people announce that they're OK and also aggregates news and even points to fundraisers.

"Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries", a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

"This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future", Google said.

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). "Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results". What's become clear in recent years, on digital platforms like Google and Facebook, is that that same confusion also allows for a more nefarious dissemination of deliberately false or biased reports. "However, its removal was delayed by a few minutes, allowing it to be screen captured and circulated online", the firm told Fast Company. Several accounts pointed the finger at an "Islamic convert" who is actually a comedian beloved by the far right. Then the false reports of "missing" people started popping up, Buzzfeed reported.

The false claim spread quickly on the Internet.



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