Dangerous: Media outlets falsely linked Facebook profile to alleged Newtown shooter; Update: Media may have incorrectly reported gunman’s name

The alleged gunman in this morning’s horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, has been identified as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza. And in their rush to learn more about Lanza, they turned to Facebook:

“Unconfirmed” is the operative word.

It appears that they may have shone the spotlight on the wrong man:

It’s the media’s job to inform the public, and in order to do so, they need to rigorously check their facts.

The Facebook page has since been taken down:

But the damage may already be done.

***

Update:

The media’s rush to finger the shooter may have made this horrible story even messier. Numerous outlets are now reporting that the shooter was in fact 20-year-old Adam Lanza and that Ryan Lanza is currently in police custody.

The mistake may have been the result of law enforcement officials’ error:

One thing is definitely certain: only the most extreme caution will do.

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