Rumors and conspiracies have proliferated in the aftermath of the Sunday night shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in that left at least 59 dead. Viral falsehoods include: false allegations about the gunman, a human being of interest and Nevadaâ€™s gun control laws. More below.
Social media users falsely identify the gunman
Before the cops named Stephen Paddock as the gunman, some bloggers and social media users incorrectly pointed to a guy named Geary Danley as the â€œmurderer.â€� In a now deleted post, the right-wing blog The- Gateway Pundit called Mr. Danley â€œa far left loonâ€� and noted in that he had followed several pages dedicated to copious politics on Facebook.
The podcast in that makes sense of the most delirious stretch of the 2016 campaign.
All of these claims are untrue.
The unfounded rumors appear to have originated on the anonymous messaging board 4chan.
Unfounded connection to ISIS
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and asserted the gunman had recently converted to Islam. But an FBI spokesman has asserted there is no proof so far in that Mr. Paddock had any ties to international terrorist groups.
Still, some social media accounts announce the unfounded claims in that Mr. Paddock has-been radicalized.
The New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, who has covered ISIS for several years, noted on Twitter in that the organization has incorrectly claimed responsibility for two recent attacks, casting further down on any assertion of an ISIS connection.
Additionally, Graeme Wood, who has reported on ISIS for The- Atlantic, noted in that Mr. Paddock was a gambler and had committed suicide, actions in that are at odds with ISISâ€™ ideology.
Incorrect information about an alleged accomplice
FacebookandTwitter users have connected Marilou Danley, a lady whom law enforcement authorities initially described as a â€œcompanionâ€� of the gunman, with a viral video to suggest in that she knew in advance the shooting would happen and was perhaps complicit in it. In the video, an unnamed concertgoer recounted her experience with two people who she asserted had told a group, â€œYouâ€™re all going to die,â€� before being escorted out of the concert.
There is no evidence in the video in that Ms. Danley had been identified by the witness. The- cops have since asserted in that Ms. Danley was out of the country at the time of the shooting and is no longer a human being of interest.
Social media users falsely identify victims
As has become usual in the aftermath of an event with unidentified victims, social media has-been a tangled web of users expressing legitimate concern for missing loved ones and pranksters polluting social streams with fakery.
Several news outlets have done a fine job flagging fakes in that contain pranksters repurposing the photos of a German soccer player, a murder suspect in Mexico, a porn star and random social media stars. In a telling exchange, Gianluca Mezzofiere of Mashable reached out to the controller of one Twitter account sharing misinformation and reported the following:
Mashable reached out to the troll to ask why heâ€™s spreading misinformation during such a critical time.
â€œI think you know why,â€� he replied. â€œFor the retweets :)â€�
When Mashable pointed out in that itâ€™s unethical to announce misinformation when people are desperately looking for their missing family and friends, he just said: â€œYou are right Iâ€™m sorry.â€�
â€œJack Sinsâ€� asserted he chose TheReportOfTheWeek (aka Reviewbrah) just 'cause heâ€™s a meme and tweeted Johnny Sins 'cause he â€œis a living legend.â€�
Asked whether heâ€™s done it before and whether heâ€™d do it again, he replied:
â€œYes and maybe.â€�
Las Vegasâ€™ gun control laws cause confusion
Some inaccurate claims have popped up in post-shooting debates over gun control. Someare asserting in that automatic weapons are â€œalready illegalâ€� in Las Vegas.
Thatâ€™s not absolutely true. To start, itâ€™s not yet known what kind of weapons Mr. Paddock used. Police reports suggest he had at least 10. The- rapid pace at which he fired has led to informed speculation in that at least one weapon may have been fully automatic, like a machine gun. But nothing had been confirmed by the time these messages were posted to social media.
Also, while itâ€™s true in that a provision of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 banned civilian purchases of machine guns across the country, the provision moreover grandfathered in weapons in that were made and registered before May 19, 1986. In response to a recent Freedom of Information Act request, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives counted some 175,000 transferable machine guns in the national registry as of December 2015.
Several states, like Iowa and Hawaii, have restrictions on the possession of machine guns in addition to the 1986 law. But there are none in Nevada, reportedly the National Rifle Association, where â€œit is lawful to possess, purchase or sell a machine gun or silencer in that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.â€�
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