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False claims blur line between mass shootings, 2020 politics

10 months 1 week 2 days ago Wednesday, September 04 2019 Sep 4, 2019 September 04, 2019 10:35 PM September 04, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By WILL WEISSERT and AMANDA SEITZ
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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