Fake News on Vegas Shooter Embarrasses Google and Facebook

Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in 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.

As BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick first pointed out on Twitter, when you entered a Google search for "Geary Danley" this morning, the site displayed links to 4chan's pol (politically incorrect) message board in its Top Stories section wrongly identifying him as the shooter.

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.

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4chan's users quickly turned their attention to Geary Danley-the apparent the husband of Marilou, according to an archived version of a Facebook page belonging to a user named Geary Danley-though the name was not directly mentioned by law enforcement. The article describes a female person of interest and calls her husband a "Trump-hating Rachel Maddow fan", thanks to screenshots of a Facebook page. A profile of Danley put together on Everipedia, a Wikipedia-style site with much looser guidelines and moderation.

The spread of misinformation remains a huge problem for large platforms like Facebook and Google, which rely on algorithms to push the most engaged stories to the top.

The search results below the top stories did little to help clarify the situation.

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Facebook said its security team removed Gateway Pundit results and other similar posts from its social network, some within minutes.

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

"Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries", a spokesperson for Google said in a statement. The fake news was "algorithmically replaced by relevant results", Google said, "within hours". "However, their removal was delayed, allowing them to be screen captured and circulated online".

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There were also several social media users who spread fake "missing friends" photos on Twitter, including the fake Twitter account Jack Sins, who shared a photo of a man claiming to be his missing father.

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