In the wake of a tragedy like the shooting in Las Vegas, it's not uncommon for false news to get mixed in with the actual facts. People are often quick to believe any information as it's being presented to them and sometimes neglect to confirm whether it's actually true.
Some of the people spreading false information are simply trying to get their 15 minutes of fame, while others have a more nefarious example. Almost immediately after the Las Vegas attack occurred, people began posting lies and hoaxes to social media, where many of them quickly went viral.
We've compiled a list of some of the most widespread lies in the wake of the shooting. Here's what to watch out for.
A number of social media accounts shared images identifying the shooter as "Samir Al-Hajeed."However, the man in these pictures is actually Sam Hyde, a comedian. This isn't the first time Hyde has been erroneously linked to an attack. Last July, European news outlets mistakenly identified him as a suspect in the shooting spree at a shopping mall in Munich, Germany. In fact, since 2015, trolls from 4chan have identified Sam Hyde as the shooter for a number of major gun violence incidents across the U.S. It has never been true. The shooter was actually a 64-year-old white male named Stephen Paddock.
It wasn't only the shooter who was misidentified. People have also been sharing pictures of their missing friends and family members... except many of those are fake, too.
And here, two users congratulate each other on successfully spreading disinformation about the shooting at Mandalay… https://t.co/9n3XBW2VW7— Caroline Orr Bueno (@Caroline Orr Bueno)1506932004.0
Here's another example of someone using a picture of a stranger to get attention.In this case, the man pictured is not Twitter user Puma's brother. Rather, he is a suspect in a murder that occurred in Mexico last month.
Some fake news outlets have also reported faulty information.
Conservative website with White House credentials misidentifies Las Vegas shooter, brands him as anti-Trump:… https://t.co/reoMXFwExN— The Daily Dot (@The Daily Dot)1506963091.0
This morning, InfoWars shared an article stating that the shooter had ties to Antifa.However, there has not been any evidence at this time that the shooter was involved with any Antifa groups. Wondering where this theory originated? So were we. Then we found this next tweet...
Early this morning, trolls on 4chan manufactured the story that the shooter had links to Antifa.They can be seen here encouraging each other to spread false information in response to the shooting. "Spread these images to demonize ANTIFA," the post reads. On that note, be extra cautious before sharing any posts that use the hashtag #ANTIFA50, which was created by 4chan to demonize the group.
This morning, conservative commentator Wayne Allyn Root posted that the shooting was a "clearly coordinated Muslim attack."
This is real thing. Clearly coordinated Muslim terror attack. PRAY for our Vegas police. PRAY for victims. VERY bad. Awful.— Wayne Allyn Root (@Wayne Allyn Root)1506927135.0