Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

"When the fresh 4chan story broke, it triggered Top Stories, which unfortunately led to this inaccurate result", the statement reads. The Crisis Response Page can also be used to offer help and create fundraising efforts.

The Gateway Pundit ― a right-wing blog that routinely traffics in disinformation but has received White House press credentials from the Trump administration ― identified the suspect as "Geary Danley", a name that had previously been circulating on 4chan.

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

Police later named Stephen Paddock, 64, who was subsequently found dead in a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, as the lone gunman responsible for shooting hundreds of concertgoers from his room.

A 4chan message board about the Las Vegas shooting rocketed to the top of Google's Top Stories, a tool meant to draw a clearer distinction between that product and Google News, which is vetted by humans. "Make sure everyone knows".

Perhaps the most egregious strain of misinformation took hold after far-right trolls gathered on 4chan, a forum in which individuals are permitted to post nearly anything anonymously, and, through some amateur online sleuthing, misidentified the shooter.

The false content on 4chan about the mass murderer was "quickly picked up and magnified by The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website that has repeatedly misidentified attackers and continues to promote debunked conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama's birthplace, among other misinformation", Business Insider reported.

Google News' statement claims that these false reports landed on the service's "Top Stories" feed due to a burst of activity for a name that had never received many search attempts.

Google and Facebook have faced renewed criticism today, over their promotion of "fake news" in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting. However, its removal was delayed by a few minutes, allowing it to be screen captured and circulated online.

Links to the 4chan website that falsely identified the shooter and called him a leftist and Democratic supporter were showing up on the top of Google search results, according to tweets by Buzzfeed News reporter Ryan Broderick. The fake news was "algorithmically replaced by relevant results", Google said, "within hours".

But many who wandered over to the Las Vegas Safety Check page Monday morning didn't just get an update on the status of their friends. "We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused".

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