Las Vegas shooting: How you fell for fake news on Facebook, Google

By: | Published: October 3, 2017 1:59 PM

Las Vegas shooting: While the planet mourned the loss of innocent lives, here's how Google and Facebook failed to help the cause.

las vegas attack, las vegas shooting, las vegas shootout, las vegas massacre, las vegas firing, las vegas news, las vegas latest news, las vegas google, las vegas facebook, las vegas fake news, fake news, facebook fake news, google fake newsLas Vegas shooting: Facebook and Google failed yet again, as fake news was shared on these web platforms after the massacre. (Image: Associated Press)

Las Vegas shooting, one of the deadliest massacres in the recent US history, has grabbed the eyeballs all around the world. However, while the planet mourned the loss of innocent lives, two major social media websites failed to help the cause. Already battling criticism for the spread of fake news, Facebook and Google failed yet again, as false news was shared on these web platforms after the massacre. The Las Vegas incident claimed the lives of at least 59 people, injuring hundreds more, according to various media reports. Meanwhile, many US-based websites reported that Google showcased an article where the name of the killer was incorrect. The article came from 4chan, an infamous notorious website.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, there is a Security Check page. Whenever there is a massive disaster the social media website allows the affected people and their near and dear ones to post messages through the feature. However, after the Las Vegas shooting, a blog post from Alt-Right News was published. Similarly, according to a Buzzfeed report, even Twitter might be one of the places where fake news might have found a way to be spread. The report said that there were many articles shared where a comedian was pointed fingers at.

Also read | Who is Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas shooter who killed 50 people, injured over 200

When it comes to the Google incident, the article was from 4chan, which is known to be a stronghold of the conspiracy theorists. It is a very dangerous website, as a single misinformation regarding Steve Job’s heart attack in 2008, made Apple suffer a loss of billions of dollars in stock value, Siliconbeat reported. In the aftermath of the Las Vegas incident, a 64-year-old man named Stephen Paddock was identified as the gunman. However, Google reportedly showed a person named Geary Danley in its search result, and the article was from 4chan. In order to save face, Google has responded to the issue, saying that the problem is in the algorithm. It said that the company is making algorithmic improvements so that it does not happen in the future.

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Meanwhile, on Facebook, the ‘Security Check’ feature mentioned above, published a report from Alt Right News that “the killer may have been a Trump-hating American television host Rachel Maddow fan”. This report again suggested Geary Danley as the culprit. The report also said that Paddock was probably a ‘left-wing nutjob’. Meanwhile, Facebook to acknowledged the issue and said that its employees saw the problem and fixed it. It, however, said that the fix was delayed and people took screenshots of the article and circulated it on the website. A Fast Company report cited Facebook as saying, “We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused.”

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