False claims blur line between mass shootings, 2020 politics
By WILL WEISSERT and AMANDA SEITZ
WASHINGTON (AP) - Within minutes of media outlets identifying the gunman who killed seven people in West Texas, a Twitter account began spreading baseless information linking the shooter to Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.
The groundless conjecture was promoted online by a member of President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign advisory board.
The speed of the misinformation - and how far it subsequently spread - again illustrates the eagerness of some to blame such events on political ideologies, regardless of whether the facts support that.
It's also an early indication of just how difficult it will be for campaigns to combat virulent falsehoods ahead of a 2020 presidential campaign that could to be full of them.
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