March 23, 2018

Facebook activates Safety Check following shooting in Las Vegas

05 October 2017, 12:41 | Yvette Williams

Facebook activates safety check after 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

How far-right trolls named the wrong man as the Las Vegas shooter

They were shocking, gruesome revelations.

Meanwhile, Facebook too said that its security team removed "The Gateway Pundit" results and other similar posts within minutes. The post incorrectly identified the shooter and described him as a Trump-hating liberal.

"Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results", Google said in an email to AFP. The most egregious example has got to be the story which claimed that the shooter was an anti-Trump Democrat.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google are expected to testify on the Hill next month. "This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future". "We are working to fix the issue that caused these articles to appear in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused".

But this was no one-off incident.

"These algorithms can be manipulated, these searches can be manipulated, so that we're seeing what people want us to see rather than the true facts, and that's very destructive to our society", Schiff said.

According to a screen shot shared on Twitter, at one point the Safety Check page also featured a post asking for donations to a bitcoin wallet and a link to a site called The Anti Media, which led to a page with a story by "Tyler Durden".

The false reports named Geary Danley, an apparent progressive with a Facebook friend whose name matched that of a woman police had identified as a person of interest in the early hours of the shooting investigation.

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Facebook on Monday turned over to Congress 3,000 ads linked to a Russian troll farm. That was triggered because Google searches prior to the 4chan speculation didn't surface much about Danley.

"The authors or the promoters of this type of fake content often are seeking to shock people, to outrage them".

Consider Facebook's own past struggles with fake news.

Fake news and hoaxes are easily distributed online, and during a breaking news situation, when information is sparse and stories are both in progress and high demand, there are a lot of instances where outlets are eager to be first rather than correct.

There is also a labeling issue.

San Francisco: Technology giants Google, Facebook and Twitter - already facing flak for presence of false news on their platforms - failed miserably to stop publishing fake news related to Las Vegas massacre in which at least 59 people died and over 400 injured, media reported on Tuesday. Voila. Problem solved; case closed.

But just because the war against misinformation may be unwinnable doesn't mean it should be avoided. USA lawmakers are also investigating the role their platforms inadvertently played in Russia's alleged campaign to influence the 2016 United States presidential election.

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