By: Phil | 10-06-2017 | News
Photo credit: Syda Productions | Dreamstime

Las Vegas Shooting: Misinformation, Hoax and the Coming Fake News Crackdown

The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas thus far has been a roller-coaster ride. The events have played out replete with plot twists fitting a Hitchcock film. Dramatic "reveals" such as connection to Lockheed, discovery of Tannerite and Ammonium Nitrate, the claims of ISIS connection, multiple shooters and more have helped muddy the stream since the the details began to leak. There were the usual news hoaxes that always spread like wildfire during these sorts of tragedy. YouTuber ReviewBrah was listed as a "missing person" via Twitter, Sam Hyde (as usual, as always) was named the killer. A handful of major news outlets picked it up including an Israeli online outlet and Russian television. As usual the conspirasphere were abuzz with reports involving false flags, crisis actors and government involvement and cover-up. And, just like in Charlottesville, /pol/ managed to jump the gun and connect "an unconnected person." Despite this, Google (for whatever reasons) decided to, for once, promote a 4chan thread as a "top source." As many times as anon <i>has</i> delivered they would choose to promote one of the rare instances where they fail.

Just like in Charlottesville, however, the "unconnected person" was actually connected in a way. In fact, not only was Geary Danley the ex-wife of the alleged shooter's "constant companion" or "girlfriend" depending on what source you check and what day you check it. In addition, the full BeenVerified report of Stephen Paddock also lists Geary Danley as a possible "associate" of Paddock. Several issues were noted by myself and others during the research of this story. Articles disappearing and reappearing with edits not noted. Marilou's LinkedIn disappears for a few hours and comes back slightly less full. The devil is very often in the details, but due to misinformation and disinformation abounding those devilish details are quite obscured. Not only that, but even archive sites are not properly working on several pages that may hold relevant clues.

YouTube has <a href="">"reportedly" altered their algorithms</a> in the wake as well. I personally believe that this "fake news" roll-out by YouTube isn't as new as it seems. Endgadget suggests that YT is using video names to auto-ban certain materials. This reminds me very much of our last attempted Goldwater live stream. I spent a couple of days making notes for our big censorship show. The show took place on the connecting Sunday in between Free Speech Week and Banned Books week. Apt timing I thought, I wasn't prepared for the irony of Discord, YouTube (chat and stream) and internet connections from the main GW studio conspiring to keep our censorship show off the air.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">YouTube changes search algorithms after misinformation during Las Vegas shooting <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; The Verge (@verge) <a href="">October 6, 2017</a></blockquote>

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YouTube suppression isn't that surprising. AdPocalypse, demonetization, "limited state" for creators like BlackPigeonSpeaks, these are just the beginning of the suppression of alternative viewpoints. Vegas was a perfect example for the "news authorities" to trot out their panegyrics upon the danger of "fake news." Google and Facebook are now apologizing for promoting hoax stories and I expect "strict measures" to be implemented soon to ensure that the populace isn't "misinformed." A bit of a joke when you consider the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2013 and the latest NDAA basically struck down previous laws against disseminating propaganda to the American public.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Repeal Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 that allows “U.S. propaganda intended to influence foreign audiences to be used on the domestic population&quot;, then maybe no <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FAKENews</a> ?</p>&mdash; ItsSurfingTime (@ImGalandria) <a href="">October 6, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Meanwhile, the same media calling out alternative news sources can't seem to decide whether Marilou was in Tokyo or Manila. Even more astounding at the time

<a href="">according to UK's <i>Telegraph</i></a> "neither country was able to confirm her whereabouts." For a few days conflicting reportedlies played out like journalistic dueling banjos. Indonesian or Filipina? Girlfriend, roommate, wife or just constant companion? Was it a sledgehammer or (as it appears in photographs) a mallet. Television news had a pundit explaining he was on the 35th floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Even this tiny detail amounts to a white lie or at best tricky misinformation. In fact just a couple floors above Paddock's 32nd floor room the Mandalay Bay tower becomes the fabulous 4 Seasons hotel (owned Bill Gates and a Saudi prince).

Danley was born in the Philippines recent reports explain. Multiple Australian news outlets claim she lived in Queensland until 2003 when she moved to Nevada with her husband Geary. That said, other sources note she lived with her step-daughter in Memphis, Tennessee around 2000. Then there's the fact that Marilou Danley went by another name before marrying Geary Danley (quite possibly it was Maria Lourdes, but the Filipino online magazine that hosted the story seems to have been scrubbed from the net). An anonymous source who declined to comment was "re-interviewed" before Newsweek apologized for noting the two social security numbers Danley had. Multiple sources, official and otherwise, only spoke "on condition of anonymity" and therefore can't be fully confirmed. The "legitimate" news media will ignore their faulty facts however and disparage anyone who tries to get to the bottom of this tangled web of apparentlies and reportedlies.

At this point, it's too soon to say much with certainty apart from, to quote Sgt. Joe Friday, "just the facts." And considering that even the "facts" seem to be changing or disappearing at an alarming rate, the idea that a cover-up could be under way seems nearly plausible. Once again, it's too early to tell, but I'd bet the altered YouTube algorithms will be just the beginning to an all-out "assault on fake news" in the light of recent events.

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