In the early morning hours we began to learn of what has become the worst mass shooting in US history. The shooting, which took place outside the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, has reportedly injured over 200 individuals and killed at least 50. As police began to scour the area for the shooter, early reports erupted on both Twitter and Facebook indicating that a man named Geary Danley was the main suspect in this horrific terrorist attack.
Danley happened to be the estranged husband of another person of interest, Marilou Danley. Apparently many right wing social media users saw Marilou’s name and instantly linked her to Geary, an innocent man originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Right-leaning social media users and many Trump supporters latched onto Geary’s Facebook page, which indicated that he was a fan of the Rachel Maddow show and liked several Facebook fan pages which included, ‘Thank You Obama,’ ‘Fight Trump,’ ‘Anti-Trump Army,’ ‘Progressive Day,’ ‘Organizing for Action,’ ‘Not My President,’ ‘Proud to Be A Democrat,’ ‘Boycott All Things Trump,’ and ‘Impeach Trump’.
Within minutes of the incorrect identification of the terrorist, headlines began to pop up from right-wing posters such as “The Shooter Was an Alt-left Anti-Trumper Extremist.”
“Victims of Geary Danley , an Avid Rachel Maddow fan , must sue her & FAKE MEDIA for INCITING LOONS like HANLEY to murder WHITES for MADDOW,” wrote one angry Twitter user.
“So he’s a Leftist, Liberal Radicalized by Rachael Maddow of MSNBC & the Mainstream Media AGAIN Imagine my surprise,” tweeted another upset individual.
In fact, even after the Las Vegas Police released the name of the man who actually committed this disgusting crime — Steven Paddock — social media users were still incorrectly claiming that the attacker really was Geary Danley.
In the moments after a tragedy like this, it’s often best to not spread rumors and instead wait for the official word to come out by authorities investigating the crime. This clearly did not happen in this case.
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