After the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the country, lots of fake stories and other misinformation quickly spread around the internet about Las Vegas.
Sunday night in Las Vegas, a shooter opened fire on a concert crowd from a hotel window.
The shooter has been identified as Stephen Paddock. Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree from Mesquite, Nevada, who had no prior run-ins with police. Paddock was found dead in his hotel room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound by the Las Vegas SWAT Team.
Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel on Thursday. Prior to the shooting, he smashed open the window with a hammer. Police found 10 rifles in his hotel room that Paddock brought in himself.
From the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, Paddock fired into an outdoor festival concert across the street. After the attack, at least 58 people are dead. Over 500 people are injured.
In the social media age, news travels faster than it can be confirmed. Unfortunately, a lot of fake news was mixed in with updates of the attack.
As people used social media to connect with loved ones, a few people tried to prank everyone who as trying to help.
Lots of trolls shared photos of people claiming that they were missing after the shooting. The people in the photos ranged from soccer players to vine stars to porn star Johnny Sins.
In connection with the shooting, police were seeking out Paddock’s girlfriend. Marilou Danley, who lived with Paddock in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, was wanted for questioning since Paddock used her name and ID at the hotel check in. Somehow, a rumor circulated on Twitter that Marilou was warning people at the concert that they were going to die. But it was completely fake.
The Sheriff’s department found Marilou was out of the country at the time of the attack. Vegas police stated “Marilou Danley is no longer being sought out as a person of interest. LVMPD detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip.”
A few internet trolls tried to trick people by spreading fake news memes like images of Alt-Right troll Sam Hyde.
It’s a meme for Alt-right trolls to post Hyde’s photo on social media after a mass shooting to cause misinformation. After the Pulse Nightclub massacre, even Bill O’Reilly fell for the Sam Hyde meme, tweeting his photo out as the suspected shooter.
The actual shooter was not affiliated with ISIS, and the source of that fake news is ISIS.In the aftermath of the shooting, AP reported, “Without providing evidence, Islamic State claims Las Vegas attack, says shooter converted to Islam months ago.”
However, ISIS claims responsibility for attacks because it makes people more afraid of them. The Independent reports that ISIS claimed responsibility for numerous terror-related events around the world that they had no part in at all.
The AP followed up, “The FBI says Las Vegas shooter had no connection to international terrorist group.”
In fact, the gunman’s family described him has having no belief system to speak of.
But some people tried to use the tragedy to make people more afraid.
Conservative media personality Wayne Allyn Root said in some now-deleted tweets that the attack was happening at multiple hotels and the perpetrators were Muslim. Completely fake news.
Other social media trolls tried claiming that Paddock was active in the Antifa movement. A fake antifa group on Facebook even wrote that a “comrade” was responsible for the attack. All completely made-up.
Law enforcement has found no evidence of a motive.
It is true that the shooter had no prior run-ins with the law, however, his father was once on the FBI fugitive list. Patrick Paddock was a fugitive bank robber from Phoenix who was arrested by the FBI in Las Vegas when Stephen was 7 years old.
After a massive tragedy, you might be looking for a real way to help.
The people of Las Vegas set a great example.
Vegas locals tweeted out this image of donation centers in the area that could use your blood to help save lives. Here it is Tweeted out by Kim Kardashian-West.
Marquees for the giant casinos as well as signs for local tiki bars all sport numbers and addresses for blood donation centers.
Uber is even offering free rides to Vegas-area donation centers today.
And the entire Las Vegas community was out today trying to give blood.
Even if you don’t live in Nevada, donating blood will definitely help someone in the future. What about you? Will you be donating blood? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.