Right-wing websites ID Las Vegas shooter as Geary Danley, the wrong guy
04 Октября 2017, 12:30 | Ruben Fields
Image composite by mashable
Users on the popular and controversial internet message board 4chan misidentified the gunman who carried out the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas Sunday night, and the false information was elevated by Google search results.
The search for Danley began after the Las Vegas police identified a woman named Marilou Danley as a person of interest and possible traveling companion of the real shooter, though law enforcement later noted they did not believe she was involved with the shooting.
If the bloody massacre in Las Vegas was a test of the ability of Google, Facebook and Twitter to stop fake news, all three failed miserably. As of press time, Google has not responded to Ars' request to confirm the legitimacy of this reposted e-mail.
Google later acknowledged that it had been briefly surfacing an inaccurate "4chan" website in its Search results for a small number of queries. As Buzzfeed's Ryan Broderick pointed out, dozens of accounts falsely identified comedian Sam Hyde as the suspected shooter, claiming he was "32-year-old Islamic convert Samir Al-Hajeed".
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".
"Our Global Security Operations Center spotted these posts this morning and we have removed them".
"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.
People can check in to let Facebook friends now they are in Las Vegas and that they are safe.
Google said that 15 percent of searches that Google sees every day are new and that before the 4chan story broke there weren't many stories around the name "Geary Danley".
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).
Black Bear Diner said the post has since been deleted. "We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen", the Facebook representative told CNN.
In this case, alt right websites quickly latched onto the false report for political gain, painting the falsely accused man as a Democrat opposed to the Trump Administration.
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