Police later named Stephen Paddock, 64, who was subsequently found dead in a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, as the lone gunman responsible for shooting hundreds of concertgoers from his room. During a search I ran about 9 a.m. Monday, hours after the real shooting suspect - a different person - was identified, the entire first page of Google results for a search for Geary Danley's full name were links to news sites, YouTube videos, message boards and even several /pol/ threads repeating the rumor about him. Mashable was able to replicate the result, but the links no longer appear in the module.
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. 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. The FBI said Monday that there is no evidence suggesting any connection to worldwide terrorist groups - ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, but did not provide evidence.
"Our Global Security Operations Center spotted these posts this morning and we have removed them".
Because the misidentified man had minimal search results associated with his name prior to the 4chan accusations, Google's algorithms took the sudden uptick in interest as a breaking story, triggering Google's "Top Stories" feature. "However, its removal was delayed by a few minutes, allowing it to be screen captured and circulated online", the firm told Fast Company.
In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas Sunday, people desperate for information about loved ones turned to Google to find out what was happening, only to see their searches yield fake news results, courtesy of 4Chan.
Last month, Facebook announced that it would release previously undisclosed Russia-linked political ads to congressional and federal investigators and would continue to investigate how its platform was used during the 2016 presidential campaign to spread political information. But according to some background bullet points a Google spokesperson shared with a journalist from The Outline, the company admitted that "when the 4chan story broke, it triggered Top Stories which unfortunately led to this inaccurate result". Twitter coughed up false rumors and "missing" people who weren't connected to the slaughter. "We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused".