Facebook activates Safety Check following shooting in Las Vegas

Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

Facebook's Safety Check For the Las Vegas Shooting Promoted Alt-Right Blogs and a Bitcoin Wallet

For Facebook and Google, the failings with their Las Vegas shooting coverage underscore just how much work needs to be done in patching gaps in the pipeline and ensuring the truth is put first.

In the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a festival near the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas that killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds, fake news stories and hoaxes about the shooter and victims flooded social media.

If the bloody massacre in Las Vegas was a test of the ability of Google, Facebook and Twitter to stop fake news, all three failed miserably. It's unclear what relationship Geary Danley has with Marilou Danley, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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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.

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". "Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results". Facebook is expected to share with Congress more than 3,000 examples of ads Russia-linked accounts bought on the platform from 2015 to 2017.

Meanwhile, Facebook's "Security Check" page - that lets people involved with disasters and accidents post messages for friends and loved ones - published a blog post from "Alt-Right News" that said "the killer may have been a Trump-hating American television host Rachel Maddow fan" in an apparent reference to the misidentified Danley's Facebook page.

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"This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make improvements to prevent this from happening in the future".

"Alt-Right News" theorised that the actual shooter, Paddock, was probably a "left-wing nutjob" associated with a woman who "may or may not be a Muslim", the report pointed out.

Black Bear Diner said the post has since been deleted. Then the false reports of "missing" people started popping up, Buzzfeed reported.

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"Despite months of assurances to the contrary, the internet's two largest media platforms have yet to adequately protect their systems from enabling the viral spread of misinformation", says Forbes.

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