SAN FRANCISCO — False information about the Las Vegas mass shooting from 4chan was a top story on Google before it was debunked.Links to the 4chan website falsely identified the shooter as Geary Danley, calling him a leftist and Democratic supporter. The misinformation gained traction after Internet sleuths scoured social media to identify the gunman faster than police, and the erroneous report appeared at the top of Google results for searches on Danley.One conservative writer, Joe Hoft, published and then retracted an article about Danley based on 4chan, an anonymous online message board: “Las Vegas Shooter Reportedly a Democrat Who Liked Rachel Maddow, MoveOn.org and Associated with Anti-Trump Army.”Police later identified Stephen Paddock as the culprit in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history that killed at least 59 people and injured more than 500 near the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on Sunday night.The episode marked yet another illustration of how quickly misinformation can spread during major breaking news events on Twitter, Reddit, 4chan and other Internet services when few official details have been released by authorities.But in this case, Google amplified the false information as millions searched for information about the gunman in the hours after the attack. Follow USA TODAY Tech news on on Facebook.Google says the 4chan search result appeared for queries that included Danley’s… Read full this story
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