Published: Tue, October 03, 2017
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

Google searches for the phrase "Geary Danley" returned a link to a 4chan thread labeling the man a unsafe leftist - a link that sat untouched for hours until the platform's algorithm eventually bumped it. Safety Check is part of Facebook's Crisis Response feature that also includes information about the event and ways the public can help. Twitter coughed up false rumors and "missing" people who weren't connected to the slaughter. Silicon Valley, we have a problem. On Monday morning, authorities identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock. One of the rumors that had been circulating on the site 4chan misidentified the shooter as a man named Geary Danley appeared in Google's top stories widget (as Buzzfeed and Bloomberg reported).

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.

It's a legitimate question to ask how sources like 4chan would even be considered a viable outlet from which to source information for breaking news. Google too shared posts from forums like 4chan that were also disseminating wrong information.

Formula One: Verstappen wins Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Hamilton
But his ability to win the race with pace in hand over Hamilton and teammate Ricciardo was enough to satisfy Verstappen's desire. Vettel told Sky F1: "I went on the outside to pick up a bit of rubber - I think Lance wasn't looking and wanted to do the same.

Yes, Google says: It did make a mistake; this should not have happened.

The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website, published a story declaring that the person 4chan had named was the culprit.

"Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries", a Google spokesperson confirmed to Mic. The fake news was "algorithmically replaced by relevant results", Google said, "within hours".

Tillerson Plays Good Cop on North Korea in Beijing Trip
The in direct communication with the regime, he said, adding , "we can talk to them, we do talk to them". That's a stance that runs counter to what others in the USA administration - including Mr Trump - have said.

The "Gateway Pundit" site was among those receiving criticism for a post that linked the Las Vegas shooter with several liberal organizations, calling him an associate of the "Anti-Trump Army".

Facebook admitted Monday that its system automatically promoted stories that falsely identified the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre. They bolstered their argument by sharing screenshots from Geary's Facebook profile where he had liked pages such as "Thank you Obama", "Fight Trump, 'Not my President", among others. The social network put far-right news posts at the top of its page, which alleged the shooter was motivated by left-leaning beliefs.

The tech platforms themselves said they were working to remove the false stories when they saw them.

Alabama 1 of just 4 SEC teams ranked in coaches poll
Washington (5-0, 2-0) stayed put at No. 6 after a 42-7 win over Oregon State and Utah (4-0, 1-0) stuck at No. 20 after a bye week. Can the two schools make it all the way to 11-0 and set up a critical game to end the regular season?

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