Las Vegas shooting: Hoaxes spread on social media

Image result for Las Vegas shooting: Hoaxes spread on social mediaFifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 others sustained injuries after a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers during a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

Gunfire erupted just after 10 p.m. Sunday during the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival, which was being held across from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

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Authorities say the suspect — who was later identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada — was found dead in a hotel room and is believed to have acted alone.

While the investigation is still going on, fake information quickly began to spread online in wake of the tragedy.

Here are some of the hoaxes that are circulating on social media:

Several Twitter users falsely identified a man named Samir Al-Hajeed as the gunman wanted in connection with the mass shooting. However, it appears that the man holding the gun in the photo is actually comedian Sam Hyde, who has been falsely accused in the aftermath of other attacks, including the UCLA and San Bernardino shootings. It remains unclear why social media users repeatedly circulate Hyde’s photo after mass shootings.

View image on Twitter

Other users have allegedly reported false information about loved ones disappearing amid the chaos.

Twitter user “@pumaexiliado” claimed his brother was stuck inside the hotel, before other users exposed the fact that he had used the same photo to represent other people before.

Another twitter user reported his nephew was missing, and included a photo of Vine star Lil Terio. The tweet was shared nearly 400 times before it was removed.

The Twitter account holder of “@redevicer” shared an image supposedly of their missing 15-year-old son, asking for help. The tweet was shared nearly 4,000 times before the account was suspended.

And Twitter user “@winterr” shared an image of their supposedly missing 14-year-old daughter. The tweet was shared nearly 1,500 times, however, the page for the account appears to have been removed.

This isn’t the first time that social media trolls have reported false information in wake of an attack. The tragedy of Manchester Arena bombing also gave rise to several hoaxes, including false reports of missing relatives and friends.