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Geary Danley: Man falsely named as Las Vegas shooter on social media

05 Octubre 2017

Both companies are under fire from politicians for promoting false stories in the lead-up to last year's presidential election, and have been invited to testify at a congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the race. She was traveling on an Australian passport.

Among the outlets promoted by Facebook were The Gateway Pundit; a blog called Alt Right News; and several websites of questionable credibility.

The episode marked yet another illustration of how quickly misinformation can spread during major breaking news events on Twitter, Reddit, 4chan and other Internet services when few official details have been released by authorities.

"We are working to resolve the problem that has allowed this to happen and deeply regret the confusion this has caused", added the largest social network in the world.

Technology giants Google, Facebook and Twitter - already facing flak for presence of false news on their platforms - failed miserably to stop publishing fake news related to Las Vegas massacre in which at least 59 people died and over 400 injured, media reported on Tuesday. Some of the people spreading the false reports appear to be doing so with a political intent.

Bill Hartzer, an expert on search, says Google is constantly crawling the Web and picking up new information as it appears.

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".

Posters on the anonymous, anarchic 4chan.org forum likewise trumpeted supposed findings that the same individual was both the shooter and a "social democrat".

In Google's case, trolls from 4Chan, a notoriously toxic online message board with a vocal far-right contingent, had spent the night scheming about how to pin the shooting on liberals.

Many users then searched for the erroneous name on Google.

"The genetics load the gun, personality and psychology aim it, and experiences pull the trigger, typically", Clemente said.

Geary was married to Marilou, 62, for more than two decades before separating in April of 2013 and then divorcing in February of 2014. Aaron Rouse, chief of the FBI's Las Vegas office, said the agency had found "no connection" between Paddock and terror organizations.

Even when these campaigns are thwarted, they often last hours or days - long enough to spread misleading information to millions of people. Her chin has also been shortened, her forehead smoothed, and her hair is slightly different. This factor, combined with the alleged convenience of being able to verify the accuracy of reports, makes people susceptible to fake news. They later apologized for the mistake.

"There's a way - the fact is, they don't have the will", Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University told the Financial Times.

And on sites like YouTube, unverified information flowed largely unchecked, with accounts like The End Times News Report impersonating legitimate news sources to circulate conspiracy and rumor.

Facebook and Google have spent billions of dollars developing virtual reality systems.