Russian developer defends controversial ‘Active Shooter’ video game

The developer for a video game that stimulates a school shooting has found new ways to sell his game after an online gaming platform removed it, following huge backlash from the parents of children killed in school shootings.

“Active Shooter” was removed from the platform Steam after anti-gun activists and the parents of students killed during school shootings criticized the game for allowing players to simulate school shootings by playing the role of the shooter.

.. Anton Makarevskiy, the game’s developer, defended it through his entity, Acid Software, citing free expression rights.

Fake Facebook accounts and online lies multiply in hours after Santa Fe school shooting

In the first hours after the Texas school shooting that left at least 10 dead Friday, online hoaxers moved quickly to spread a viral lie, creating fake Facebook accounts with the suspected shooter’s name and a doctored photo showing him wearing a “Hillary 2016” hat.

Several were swiftly flagged by users and deleted by the social network. But others rose rapidly in their place: Chris Sampson, a disinformation analyst for a counterterrorism think tank, said he could see new fakes as they were being created and filled out with false information, including images linking the suspect to the anti-fascist group Antifa.

It has become a familiar pattern in the all-too-common aftermath of U.S. school shootings: A barrage of online misinformation, seemingly designed to cloud the truth or win political points.

.. But some social media watchers said they were still surprised at the speed with which the Santa Fe shooting descended into information warfare. Sampson said he watched the clock after the suspect was first named by police to see how long it would take for a fake Facebook account to be created in the suspect’s name: less than 20 minutes.

“It seemed this time like they were more ready for this,” he said. “Like someone just couldn’t wait to do it.”

.. Facebook said this week it had disabled more than 500 million fake accounts on the social network in the first three months of the year, although it contended tens of millions more were probably still online.

.. In February after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., a video labeling a shooting survivor as a “crisis actor” whose involvement was faked to boost gun control soared to the top of YouTube’s “Trending” list. The site blamed algorithms that rewarded the video for gaining a rapid amount of viewership in a short amount of time.
.. Some critics suggested the site should force new accounts into a waiting period before they are publicly available or that the company should more aggressively watch names in the news for potential fakes.