Google is touting 4Chan threads which incorrectly name the Las Vegas shooter

Google is touting 4Chan threads which incorrectly name the Las Vegas shooter

Google is touting 4Chan threads which incorrectly name the Las Vegas shooter

Google hired the founder of 4chan, Christopher Poole, in 2016, though there's no indication that he's involved with the search results that promoted 4chan.

A California restaurant apologized after a promotional post on its Facebook page was published about their Las Vegas locations following the mass shooting there. Twitter coughed up false rumors and "missing" people who weren't connected to the slaughter.

"4chan" is well-known as a haven for racists, misogynists and conspiracy theorists and was also the source of 2008 fake news that Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack - a falsity that nonetheless knocked $5 billion off of Apple's stock value in a single morning, the report noted.

Authorities identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Nevada, but Google initially had surfaced a result from sleazy online forum 4chan identifying the killer as someone else. Hopefully by this morning, less fake news will be available, but we can't depend on algorithms to do that.

That Google News algorithm would put 4chan threads on top of search is insane enough, but it gets even more nonsensical when you consider the whole conspiracy at the core of it. So when the 4chan story began to circulate, it instantly rose to the top of Google's Top Stories section for this set of queries.

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Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. It described him as someone thought to be "a Democrat who liked Rachel Maddow, MoveOn.org, and associated with the anti-Trump army". 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". "This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future", Google was quoted as saying in the report.

Distributors of fake news used Google and Facebook's algorithms to their advantage to spread hoaxes in the midst of the Las Vegas massacre. They also got a number of news posts from highly questionable sources.

Facebook said the offending post was spotted by its global security operations centre but that "its removal was delayed by a few minutes".

In a statement, Facebook said, "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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