Even before police securedafter a shooting there Tuesday, social media was flooded with a familiar scourge: fake news.
Every major social network has its own challenges with disinformation. They’ve enacted series of algorithmic and structural changes in order to combat its spread. Just as Tuesday’s shooting raged, Facebook said it was scrubbing more than.
Police say three victims in the shooting in San Bruno, California, have been transported for emergency treatment and the suspected female shooter was found dead from what they believe to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The headquarters has been evacuated and law enforcement officers are continuing to investigate.
You’d never know that on Twitter, where various accounts claimed to know much more about the incident and its perpetrator than law enforcement. Many were passed over, but some still managed to attract dozens of interactions.
Someone rebooted a common hoax that actor Sam Hyde was the shooter, a frequent accusation following shootings. The post included a photo of Hyde carrying an assault weapon.
Another bogus claim was that YouTuber Matt Jarbo is behind the shooting,
False flag conspirators reemerged in their corner of Twitter to make their familiar claims about crisis actors participating in the shooting.
Even a BuzzFeed reporter actively debunking fake news was pulled into the misinformation.
And theof one of the first YouTube employees to report the attack was hacked, prompting Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to step in.
Dorsey also addressed the issue of fake news on Twitter in a later statement.
YouTube itself, which has been subject to widespread criticism for surfacing conspiratorial videos in the wake of tragedies, was promoting verified media sources through the early waves of reports.
On Reddit, subreddits known for incubating conspiracies that spread to other networks reacted exactly how you’d expect them to.
Meanwhile on Gab, a social network that has become, speculation familiar to anyone following the rise of fake news emerged.
And even our own Facebook account was subjected to comments promoting fake news before they were removed, echoing a refrain that Parkland shooting survivor and activist David Hogg was in some way involved.
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