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Who Is Geary Danley? 4Chan Falsely Identifies Las Vegas Shooting Suspect

Who Is Geary Danley? 4Chan Falsely Identifies Las Vegas Shooting Suspect”

Google's "Top Stories" feature uses a mix of verified news stories and Internet posts to provide breaking information.

The Gateway Pundit ― a right-wing blog that routinely traffics in disinformation but has received White House press credentials from the Trump administration ― identified the suspect as "Geary Danley", a name that had previously been circulating on 4chan. Twitter coughed up false rumors and "missing" people who weren't connected to the slaughter. Alt-Right News on October 2 theorized that the actual shooter, Paddock, was probably a "left-wing nutjob" associated with a woman who "may or may not be a Muslim". Police have since correctly identified Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the incident, as the shooter.

"Google saying "when the fresh 4chan story broke" makes me wonder if Google even....knows what 4chan is?" The social network put far-right news posts at the top of its page, which alleged the shooter was motivated by left-leaning beliefs.

Google, which was running reports from 4chan in some of its search queries as a top story, explained to us what went wrong... and how it enabled some false information from one of the web's shadier corners to land as a top result.

The story was quickly picked up and magnified by far-right conspiracy outlet the Gateway Pundit, a website that has repeatedly misidentified attackers and continues to promote debunked conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama's birthplace, among other fake stories.

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The stories claimed that the shooter was an "anti-Trump" Democrat and displayed pictures of a man who is not identified as a suspect.

In a statement shared with reporters, Google blamed the promotion of 4chan in its search results on its algorithm, which apparently is now properly tweaked. However, their removal was delayed, allowing them to be screen captured and circulated online.

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.

Just days before the horrific events in Las Vegas unfolded, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used his platform to post a Yom Kippur status apologizing for the site's role in spreading "fake news" and unknowingly selling ads to Russian-controlled accounts that may or may not have sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

- Danley is a former "high-limit hostess" at a Las Vegas casino. "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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