Google, Facebook and Twitter put out fake news on Las Vegas massacre

Google, Facebook and Twitter put out fake news on Las Vegas massacre

Google, Facebook and Twitter put out fake news on Las Vegas massacre

As law enforcement and news organizations raced to piece together what happened during the worst mass shooting in modern US history Sunday night in Las Vegas, web denizens less wedded to the truth rushed in to provide details of their own - which quickly went viral.

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".

The search engine picked up the 4chan story from the broader web, and not from anything it ran in its Google News site, according to the spokesperson. It's unclear what relationship Geary Danley has with Marilou Danley, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The fake news spilling from the platforms of Bay Area tech giants comes as they face questions from Congress about alleged use of their services by Russia-linked entities in an alleged campaign to influence the presidential election that gave us Donald Trump. There are multiple reports that Danley accompanied the assailant - ID'd as Stephen Paddock by local authorities - and that she would likely have insights into what spawned such a disgusting attack.

Meanwhile, Facebook's "Security Check" page - that lets people involved with disasters and accidents post messages for friends and loved ones - published a blog post from "Alt-Right News" that said "the killer may have been a Trump-hating American television host Rachel Maddow fan" in an apparent reference to the misidentified Danley's Facebook page.

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Google, in a statement to news outlets, acknowledged that it had been "briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries".

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". The 4chan result only appeared if users entered the erroneous name as a query, Google said. But because that removal was "delayed", the company said, images of the incorrect story were captured and circulated online. "We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen", the Facebook representative told CNN.

Then the false reports of "missing" people started popping up, the website reported.

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

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