Google blamed for promoting false info about Las Vegas shooter

Google blamed for promoting false info about Las Vegas shooter
© Getty

In the hours after the Las Vegas massacre Sunday night, Google search results were promoting misinformation about the alleged shooter, according to reports.

Users on the message board site 4chan identified the wrong man as the suspect in the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history. Links to those posts were appearing at the top of search results for the misidentified man’s name, according to Buzzfeed reporter Ryan Broderick. 

“Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries," said a Google spokesperson.

"Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results. This should not have appeared for any queries, and we’ll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future.”

ADVERTISEMENT

A search for the man’s name now mostly turns up stories debunking the misinformation.

Police identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as the suspected shooter. He was found dead in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Google has been increasingly scrutinized over its search result algorithms, which some claim helped spread misinformation during last year’s presidential campaign by elevating questionable stories and outlets.

At least 58 people are dead and 500 others injured after police say Paddock opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas.

This story was updated at 1:24 p.m.