Google's Top Stories Promoted Misinformation About the Las Vegas Shooting From 4Chan

Pro-Trump accounts tried to frame left-wing activist for Las Vegas shooting
Conservative website misidentifies Las Vegas shooter, brands him as anti-Trump
Author

03 October, 2017

Google too shared posts from forums like 4chan that were also disseminating wrong information. The Crisis Response Page can also be used to offer help and create fundraising efforts. Numerous links on the first page of results included news sites that cited 4chan's "research" as potential evidence about Danley being the shooter and YouTube videos and other message boards around the web discussing him.

A Twitter spokeswoman on Monday pointed to a June blog post from Colin Crowell, Twitter's vice president of public policy, government and philanthropy when asked about the false tweets cropping up on the social network. It has since been edited and no longer names Danley as the shooter.

A 4chan message board about the Las Vegas shooting rocketed to the top of Google's Top Stories, a tool meant to draw a clearer distinction between that product and Google News, which is vetted by humans.

"Google saying "when the fresh 4chan story broke" makes me wonder if Google even....knows what 4chan is?" But for hours on the far-right Internet, would-be sleuths scoured Danley's Facebook likes, family photographs and marital history to try to "prove" that he was. Anyone who searched Google for the name of the person wrongly identified would see among the top results links to the websites that carried the false claim. The Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump site credentialed by the White House, was among the news organisations that picked up the fake news straight from 4chan.

More news: Uber pleads with mayor for deal

The amateur investigators who frequent 4chan's /pol (short for "politically incorrect") discussion board identified a man named Geary Danley as the shooter-a claim that was incorrect and based on primarily on political motivations rather than factual information. That's not exactly what anyone wants to hear, especially when hundreds of millions of people get their news from Facebook and Google. However, their removal was delayed, allowing them to be screen captured and circulated online.

Early Monday afternoon, however, Facebook was still promoting questionable news sources on its safety check-in page for the Las Vegas shooting, with links to sites like theantimedia.org, rednewshere.com and dennismichaellynch.com appearing ahead of stories from NBC News or local Las Vegas outlets. "We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused".

Google says that despite the mistake it was only visible "for a small number of queries" and that it had been eventually "algorithmically replaced" by more relevant results.


More news


  • Maria continues northerly track, Lee become a hurricane

    Maria continues northerly track, Lee become a hurricane

    If the storm stays in the wake of José, cooler water will eventually cause it to weaken, the Hurricane Center said. Maria weakened to a Category 2 storm Sunday, with sustained winds of about 105 miles per hour .
    Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale: Big discounts on smartphones and laptops

    Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale: Big discounts on smartphones and laptops

    The recently launched Lenovo K8 Plus (3GB+32GB) has also received a discount of Rs. 2,000, making it available for Rs. 8,999 only. The discounted price of the phone is Rs 10,999 after a discount of around Rs 8,000 on the current price of Rs 19,999.
    Rescuers search for survivors amid rubble of collapsed school in Mexico City

    Rescuers search for survivors amid rubble of collapsed school in Mexico City

    Local media reports said soldiers had administered oxygen to one trapped child through a tube. As many as 44 buildings collapsed in Mexico City , according to mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.
  • US Does Not Recognize Iraqi Kurdistan Referendum: Tillerson

    US Does Not Recognize Iraqi Kurdistan Referendum: Tillerson

    On Friday, the USA secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said the United States government did not recognise the Kurdish referendum . The United Nations and the United States also decried the Iraqi Kurdish authorities for potentially destabilizing the region.
    Smith fine with batting despite tough ODIs

    Smith fine with batting despite tough ODIs

    The visitors suffered from a lack of partnerships despite a fluent 53 from opener David Warner after they elected to bat first. Two overs earlier, Rohit had taken a single to become the ninth Indian to cross 6,000 runs. 12 runs of Bumrah's 3rd over.
    Russia Investigation: Twitter Banned 200 Fake Accounts But Left Key Details Out

    Russia Investigation: Twitter Banned 200 Fake Accounts But Left Key Details Out

    The group bought Facebook ads to reach targeted audiences, promoting political rallies aimed at Muslims, the website reported . Twitter executives briefed House and Senate investigators on Thursday during a closed-door meeting that lasted several hours.
  • Yosemite exit route closed after second slide injures 1

    Yosemite exit route closed after second slide injures 1

    The school's Students' Union said in a statement that the pair taught beginning climbers and played a key role in the club. One person was killed and two injured in the successive rock falls on Wednesday and Thursday at the climbing mecca.
    Dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen militant killed in gun battle

    Dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen militant killed in gun battle

    The officer further said Najar was called to the base camp in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by his handlers in 2015. Qayoom had also holed up in Jammu in September 2015 before his escape to PoK.
    North Korea quake not a nuclear test, say China experts

    North Korea quake not a nuclear test, say China experts

    Vessels and aircraft that have visited North Korea in the past 180 days are prohibited from entering USA under the new sanctions . North Korea's foreign minister later said that could be a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean if Kim orders it.
  • Third Grader Dies After Trying To Save Sister From Being Sexually Molested

    Third Grader Dies After Trying To Save Sister From Being Sexually Molested

    In another incident in October 2015, an 11-year-old boy died while pushing his sister away from the path of a speedy vehicle. Chaney is now facing murder and attempted murder charges, along with the charge of a lewd act with a child under 14.
    Buy tickets for Nittany Lions games

    Buy tickets for Nittany Lions games

    This play by Barkley would loom large because he once again showed the ability to tack on offensive yards nearly out of nowhere. The sophomore's passes early on seemed adrenaline-filled, a byproduct of the moment, and were initially too hot to handle.
    Kurdish government holds meetings in Baghdad on eve of independence vote

    Kurdish government holds meetings in Baghdad on eve of independence vote

    Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), announced the vote on June 7. The country has the largest Kurdish population in the region and is already battling a Kurdish insurgency.