How to check on Vegas loved ones with Facebook 'safety check'

03 October, 2017, 07:41 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Conservative website misidentifies Las Vegas shooter, brands him as anti-Trump

BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick. who collected a series of hoaxes related to the Las Vegas shooting, tweeted a screenshot of the article, which read in part, "Geary Danley, the murderer of at least 20 concertgoers in Las Vegas, from initial accounts was a far left loon".

Facebook has set up a crisis response page so people who are in Las Vegas can let people know they are safe.

If you're not comfortable using Facebook, or don't see that your loved one has checked in as safe online, there is a number you can call.

Google and Facebook have faced renewed criticism today, over their promotion of "fake news" in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.

A link to Danley's Facebook page also made it to the front page but no sources debunking the unfounded allegations levied against him appeared in the first results, nor did any of the sources correctly identifying the shooter as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant.

The Gateway Pundit has a reputation for spreading fake news, including the well-documented "Pizzagate" story, which falsely claimed that members of the Democratic Party were involved in a human-trafficking, child-sex operation during the 2016 US Presidential election. But because that removal was "delayed", the company said, images of the incorrect story were captured and circulated online. The company has blamed its algorithm for the mistake. "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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The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website, published a story declaring that the person 4chan had named was the culprit.

From there, Danley's name and supposed politics spread across right-wing social media, pushed by conservative platforms such as Cougarboard, Dailey Alt News, and USSA News, which describes itself as "The Tea Party's Front Page".

In a statement, a Google spokesperson conceded that the search engine giant's algorithm was "briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website" for what it said was a "small number of queries".

Internet rumors and hoaxes have become a fixture of high-profile tragedies and disasters, but by allowing them to stand alongside legitimate news stories, Facebook and Google granted them extra prominence and implicit credibility.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, responding to the Las Vegas concert massacre Monday, said he does not understand why such acts aren't more hard to pull off.

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