Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Focus Now Turns to Las Vegas Shooter 'Companion' Marliou Danley

How far-right trolls named the wrong man as the Las Vegas shooter Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting
Derrick Tucker | 04 October, 2017, 00:26

Following a mass shooting in Las Vegas that has left at least 50 people dead and hundreds more injured, Facebook has activated its "Safety Check" feature.

Danley's name first came up because he was Facebook friends with Marilou Danley, whom police had described as a person of interest connected to the suspected shooter.

Fake news is back in a big way and threatening to distort the official version of events in Las Vegas, after Facebook and Google both promoted fallacious online stories that the shooter was an anti-Trump "liberal". As a (since-deleted) Gateway Pundit article stated, Danley is "Reportedly a Democrat Who Liked Rachel Maddow, MoveOn.org and Associated with Anti-Trump Army" based on information gleaned from his Facebook page. A profile of Danley put together on Everipedia, a Wikipedia-style site with much looser guidelines and moderation. So when the 4chan story began to circulate, it instantly rose to the top of Google's Top Stories section for this set of queries.

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

Authorities identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Nevada, but Google initially had surfaced a result from sleazy online forum 4chan identifying the killer as someone else.

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The second session was curtailed by more than 20 minutes as a red flag ended running after the Haas of Romain Grosjean had a big accident as it suffered a major puncture from hitting an uncovered drain.

"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. "Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results.This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future".

"Our Global Security Operations Center spotted these posts this morning and we have removed them".

The false claim, however, quickly spread across the internet and was amplified by Google.

The admission followed Google News' propagation of an incorrect name as a potential shooter in the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Sunday night. "We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused", Fast Company quoted the social media giant as saying.

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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