Facebook admits it promoted fake Vegas massacre stories

Facebook admits it promoted fake Vegas massacre stories

Facebook admits it promoted fake Vegas massacre stories

As a reeling nation raced to gather information on the 58 people killed and more than 500 injured in the worst mass shooting in recent USA history Sunday, false reports and hoaxes masquerading as reliable information quickly rose to fill the void. Facebook's Safety Check, for example, lets people check in with friends and family to let them know whether they are safe. Police have since correctly identified Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the incident, as the shooter.

This narrative, backed by no evidence or confirmation of Danley's involvement in the Las Vegas shooting, spread quickly.

Users on the popular and controversial internet message board 4chan misidentified the gunman who carried out the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas Sunday night, and the false information was elevated by Google search results.

While the Gateway Pundit removed the story, the site's White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich criticized and mocked reporters who inquired about how the site published the piece. The company has blamed its algorithm for the mistake. We conducted a Facebook poll this morning and asked people where they first heard about the disaster. However, its removal was delayed by a few minutes, allowing it to be screen captured and circulated online. Google News promoted a 4chan thread.

For social media companies, there's been increased attention on not only how their algorithms select which articles to include, but how they deal with incorrect articles, whether intentional "fake news" or genuine mistakes.

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Journalist William Turton tweeted that he'd received from Google a response concerning the 4chan misinformation, and Google's answer appeared to suggest the infamously untrustworthy website was a legitimate news source. BuzzFeed saved screenshots of the stories, which no longer turn up on either Gateway Pundit or 4chan.

The 4chan result only appeared if users entered the erroneous name as a query, Google said.

"This should not have appeared for any queries", a Google spokesperson said, adding that the company would aim to prevent it from happening again.

Just days before the horrific events in Las Vegas unfolded, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used his platform to post a Yom Kippur status apologizing for the site's role in spreading "fake news" and unknowingly selling ads to Russian-controlled accounts that may or may not have sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

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