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Who Is Geary Danley? 4Chan Falsely Identifies Las Vegas Shooting Suspect
04 October 2017, 12:29 | Clyde Nash
Google is touting 4Chan threads which incorrectly name the Las Vegas shooter
Google said the 4chan page shouldn't have appeared in any of its top search results, and the story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results within hours.
A California restaurant apologized after a promotional post on its Facebook page was published about their Las Vegas locations following the mass shooting there.
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". Conservative writer Joe Hoft pounced, publishing and then retracting an article about the misidentified man. Police later identified a different person, Stephen Paddock, as the shooter.
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.
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. Google, Turton tweeted, had referred to a time "when the fresh 4chan story broke". 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.
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The incident highlights yet again how news and social-media algorithms created to help surface the best information can fall short in the hours after a major incident, when few factual details are readily available because authorities have yet to confirm or release them.
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). "However, their removal was delayed, allowing them to be screen captured and circulated online".
"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.
Twitter said it too was stepping up efforts to weed out false reports on the shooting.
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.
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