Facebook admits it promoted fake Vegas massacre stories

Facebook admits it promoted fake Vegas massacre stories

Google hired the founder of 4chan, Christopher Poole, in 2016, though there's no indication that he's involved with the search results that promoted 4chan.

As law enforcement and news organizations raced to piece together what happened during the worst mass shooting in modern USA 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. Twitter coughed up false rumors and "missing" people who weren't connected to the slaughter.

The site is notorious for spreading fake news and racism.

As BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick first pointed out on Twitter, when you entered a Google search for "Geary Danley" this morning, the site displayed links to 4chan's pol (politically incorrect) message board in its Top Stories section wrongly identifying him as the shooter.

Well known as a haven for racists, misogynists and conspiracy theorists, 4chan was also the source of 2008 fake news that Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack - a falsity that nonetheless knocked $5 billion off of Apple's stock value in a single morning.

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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. As of press time, Google has not responded to Ars' request to confirm the legitimacy of this reposted e-mail. The article describes a female person of interest and calls her husband a "Trump-hating Rachel Maddow fan", thanks to screenshots of a Facebook page. The fake news was "algorithmically replaced by relevant results", Google said, "within hours". They also got a number of news posts from highly questionable sources.

Black Bear Diner said the post has since been deleted.

"However, its removal was delayed by a few minutes, allowing it to be screen captured and circulated online", Facebook said. "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.

Twitter said it too was stepping up efforts to weed out false reports on the shooting.

In this case, alt right websites quickly latched onto the false report for political gain, painting the falsely accused man as a Democrat opposed to the Trump Administration.

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