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:

https://twitter.com/Slate/status/279666296650612736

“Unconfirmed” is the operative word.

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

https://twitter.com/Fletch788/status/279667463497588736

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.

  • pcolabucfan

    Does anyone have the correct one ??

  • Derek Ball

    now there is another ryan lanza account with different pics and 44 friends…..same hometown and current location both newtown ct and hoboken nj but clearly a different person

  • Derek Ball

    original account had 123 friends if i recall correctly

  • Jack Deth

    One of the many reasons I’ve never Face Booked, Tweeted or Texted.

    • Lord Foggybottom

      You just did. :)

    • Lord Foggybottom

      You just did. :)

  • Steve_J

    Hasn’t the media learned there are 300+ million people in this country and many of us have the same same. You would have thought the media would have learned after misidentifying the wrong person after the Co. shooting.

    • https://twitter.com/CheerfulWarrior cheerful warrior

      Incapable of learning.

  • Blake Waymire

    Doesn’t matter to the media. They just need that scoop. Doesn’t matter who suffers in the process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marcy-Cook/1001619613 Marcy Cook

    After all these years of rushing to report the news and getting it all wrong in the initial hours…hasn’t the media learned anything?

    • Lord Foggybottom

      No, because the media is stupid. They can’t do anything on their own anymore – they have to do it as a collective – so when something big happens and they have to act fast and independently they get it wrong every time.

    • Lord Foggybottom

      No, because the media is stupid. They can’t do anything on their own anymore – they have to do it as a collective – so when something big happens and they have to act fast and independently they get it wrong every time.

    • Katielee4211

      No.

    • http://www.facebook.com/02bnobx Jill Freeman Childers

      No, because the blind squirrel that finds a nut the fastest is the gonna make sure the other ones know it and they’ll think it’s true, so they won’t look any further….just believe it’s the one!

    • https://twitter.com/CheerfulWarrior cheerful warrior

      I will listen to, or watch any network, that vows to televise news at the scheduled news time. So tired of “breaking news”, and pathetic reporters rehashing a lack of information for 30+ minutes, while waiting for a news conference that relays the same lack of info, or worse, bad info.

  • wolfie773

    What happened to the layers of editors?

    • http://twitter.com/Angie_Waters Angela Waters

      They were all dancing around the sacrificial fire chanting We scooped them! We Scooped Them! What a bunch of Riff Raff

  • Rafael Eduardo Peña-Rios Riber

    with union violence news:
    gee guys, we don’t know many things yet; what if the union workers were provoked? that would be wrong
    with a shooting:
    OK everyone, we have a gun user gone wako! i want names now, Now , NOW

  • ⚔Christophuh⚔

    and people wonder why i dont have a FB page.

  • walterc

    You’d think after the mall shooting ID error, they would have learned. It hasn’t been that long ago that they would have forgot. Well at least one Ryan Lanza is going to win the lottery.

  • http://akemi-mokoto.me/ Akemi Mokoto

    I don’t know why he is blaming CNN when they never linked to or mentioned his Facebook. Such a mistake is understandable. The odds of someone with the same name in the same SMALL city and around the same age is so small, before today I would have thought it was unheard of.

    • TerrorSquad

      You have a promising career as a news regurgitator

  • Shiro

    Media hasn’t learnt shit

  • Guest

    Turns out Ryan Lanza wasn’t the shooter, it was 20 yr old ADAM Lanza. 24 yr old Ryan Lanza is the older brother of the shooter and is being questioned by police. The Ryan Lanza they have in custody lives in Hoboken, NJ. Quite a coincidence there would be TWO Ryan Lanzas originally from Newtown, CT and currently living in Hoboken, NJ. So while this Ryan Lanza truthfully declared he wasn’t the shooter … it certainly looks like he was the brother of the shooter. Adam Lanza is the killer. Ryan Lanza is the brother.

    • $36544368

      And what is this doing to poor Ryan Lanza’s mind? God, I hope he’s not going to be pushed over the edge! When he tells CNN to ‘fuck off’ because they made such an egregious error, it makes me wonder not only how angry he is (rightfully so), but how long he will stay that way! And what he might do with that anger!

  • Guest

    Turns out Ryan Lanza wasn’t the shooter, it was 20 yr old ADAM Lanza. 24 yr old Ryan Lanza is the older brother of the shooter and is being questioned by police. The Ryan Lanza they have in custody lives in Hoboken, NJ. Quite a coincidence there would be TWO Ryan Lanzas originally from Newtown, CT and currently living in Hoboken, NJ. So while this Ryan Lanza truthfully declared he wasn’t the shooter … it certainly looks like he was the brother of the shooter. Adam Lanza is the killer. Ryan Lanza is the brother.

  • Dee

    Now this poor guy is going to be wrapped in towels looking like mummy (just like the dude who made the youtube video). Thanks, MSM!

  • Dee

    Now this poor guy is going to be wrapped in towels looking like mummy (just like the dude who made the youtube video). Thanks, MSM!

  • http://twitter.com/Stimulus4U Marty Luther

    Hard to believe that the media got anything wrong after our witnessing their excellent reporting on Obama.

    • stuckinIL4now

      You mean their excellent lying and covering up about Obamuh?

    • http://www.facebook.com/michellelivigni Michelle Li Vigni

      please tell me this is just sarcasm.

  • Jack Deth

    The media will do anything to beat to fit and paint to match any fragments of a story to advance their socialist agenda.

    Is anyone else getting tired of their, “Oops, sorry!” hog slop journalism?

  • People Corporation

    There was no malice in the reporting, no legal basis to sue. He can still sue, but he won’t win. The police gave the name, which later turned out to be wrong. No malice there either since the gunman had that ID on him. Don’t put your personal info up in the public domain if you don’t want the public seeing it.

    • mike

      Malice isn’t required if you aren’t a public figure. This was just a kid from New Jersey

      • People Corporation

        I’m no lawyer, but some checking into cases the police naming him as the mass child killer automatically makes him an involuntary public figure, even if they were wrong. Apparently thy didn’t even protect themselves by calling the guy who who they incorrectly named a “suspect” or “alleged shooter” They named him as the killer thinking he was the guy lying dead on the ground, or maybe they didn’t. The news is sketchy, but if not through the police, then how did the name get out? Maybe they just relayed the name on the ID, and the news inferred the rest.

        You can sue anyone for anything in the US though, and if the other side believes it would cost more to defend than you are willing to settle for, they’ll pay you. It’s a business, doubtful they’ll try and stand on the principle that they believe they are innocent and pay more to defend it than he’ll take in cash. AND there’s no danger of the public thinking it was true if he does lose, unlike most defamation cases.

        Apparently he’s got a better shot at suing European news that may have repeated the story as the burden of proof for libel in the US is almost impossible (having to prove deliberate malice against him), but apparently its easy to win in Europe. Just publishing his full name will do it.

    • Timothy Crenshaw

      There is a legal basis to sue because even the Ryan Lanza they did put up was the WRONG Ryan Lanza. This is a massive case to use for punitive damages. It is so far beyond irresponsible to link Ryan Lanza’s Facebook with this shooting without even confirming it was the right Ryan Lanza. They should have checked their facts and at least got the right Ryan Lanza before correcting the police error and telling everyone it was his brother Adam.

      • People Corporation

        I’m pretty sure it was the brother. According to reports, the brother was at work, his friends called him saying his picture was on CNN.

  • jms

    News reporters are NOT the people who graduated at the top of their class. They have a degree in journ-o-lism for a REASON.

  • Nonya

    The MSM has to find something to create news, even if it’s going off hear-say. I feel sorry for Ryan for being falsely accused. He should file a Suit.

  • Justin

    Everyone! Quick… Break out Lord of the Flies and read it again!

  • NinjaTurtle

    Holy fucking shit, this dude has lawsuits to file for life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michellelivigni Michelle Li Vigni

    I’m sorry for Ryan Lanza and his father who now have this tragedy on their shoulders.

  • http://twitter.com/Angie_Waters Angela Waters

    More from Super Bully CNN and it’s appalling tactics. LIBERAL MEDIA jumps the gun (again). Stop it already. Your acts are defamatory and unprofessional. Whoever posted this poor kids picture should be Fired! You people are no better than the National Enquirer. ~ angie waters

  • $23629333

    I’m as comfortable with vigilantism as the next guy,* but nothing good comes of identifying and targeting the wrong person.

    (* unless the next guy is a grandstanding portsider)

  • https://twitter.com/CheerfulWarrior cheerful warrior

    Perhaps a minimum, fine of $100K, for a mistake, per incident (5x by 2 different news hacks in a 5 minute segment = $500,000 to those mistakenly identified) I’m not a fan of frivolous lawsuits, but, there has to be a punishment for getting it wrong.