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 USA history.
You can visit Facebook.com/safetycheck/the-violent-incident-in-las-vegas-nevada-oct01-2017/friends/ to be shown which of your friends were in the area and who has marked themselves 'safe'. Safety Check is part of Facebook's Crisis Response feature that also includes information about the event and ways the public can help. He was found dead in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
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. (Very original.) The Verge reported also seeing photos from the AANR Midwest American Association for Nude Recreation on the Safety Check page for the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Within minutes of the incorrect identification of the terrorist, headlines began to pop up from right-wing posters such as "The Shooter Was an Alt-left Anti-Trumper Extremist".
Internet rumors and hoaxes have become a fixture of high-profile tragedies and disasters, but by allowing them to stand alongside legitimate news stories, Facebook and Google granted them extra prominence and implicit credibility.
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And other users like far-right provocateur Laura Loomer went viral on Twitter stoking speculation that Islamic terror groups were responsible for the shooting.
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.
"Our Global Security Operations Center spotted these posts this morning and we have removed them", a Facebook spokesman wrote in an email.
"Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries", Google said in a statement.
"This should not have appeared for any queries", a Google spokesperson said, adding that the company would aim to prevent it from happening again. But because that removal was "delayed", the company said, images of the incorrect story were captured and circulated online. The listing did not appear in Google News.