Don’t Believe Everything You Read

This lesson shouldn’t need to be taught but you can’t always believe what you read. Case in point, I noticed a couple of individuals posting this story, which purports to provide evidence that the Sandy Hook shooting was more than meets the eye:

(Thomas Dishaw) More twists to the Sandy Hook narrative. On December 11 Google indexed the United Way website that offered condolences to the family’s of Sandy Hook.

This is a full three days before the actual shooting that took place on December 14 2012. You can view the Google page here and the United Way page here.

If you go to the Google link provided in the story you’ll notice it’s a search for the results of “sandy hook united way” that appeared on December 11th, 2012. Since the shooting occurred on December 14th, 2012 you wouldn’t expect any results but results appeared for the United Way Sandy School Support Fund webpage. In of itself this appears to be a little fishy but rest assured there is a simple explanation for these results, Google’s date searching mechanism is a little wonky. To demonstrate this I did a search for “sandy hook shooting” on the date of December 1st, 2008 (click to embiggen):

Either the Sandy Hook shooting conspiracy was accidentally leaked to the Internet over four years ago or Google’s search by date function is a bit unreliable. I’ll let you be the judge.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Believe Everything You Read”

  1. Ok, in the spirit of “not believing everything I read” I tried your way of searching Google and, yes, got the result you found here. Not the same result, interestingly: I got a bunch of different links and pages, But yes, references to Sandy Hook dated 2008. (I found your exact links after a little searching)


    Clicking further into those links reveals that the *headline article* is what is dated 2008, but the text referenced on the Google page (next to the date) is nowhere to be found in the body of the article. So why am I being linked to a page with Sandy Hook when the article published on 1st Dec 2008 clearly doesn’t contain those words?

    My theory?

    The text is coming from the *active*, continually-refreshing portions of those websites, the video banners, the ‘most commented’ applets and and the like.

    Try it here (one of the links in your image):

    “Sandy Hook mass shooting tested mutual-aid, community, chief says” is not what was published on 1st Dec 2008 but is part of that page’s Most Commented applet, a part of the webpage that is always current.

    So no, I don’t think your theory about Google being “a little wonky” holds much water, I’m afraid.

    1. So no, I don’t think your theory about Google being “a little wonky” holds much water, I’m afraid.

      That’s wasn’t a technical description obviously. What I was trying to say is that there are explainable reasons for the appearance of pages appearing using Google’s search by date functionality. The reason that happens can be due to the reasons you mentioned, the way Google indexes sites, etc. It’s a far more logical explanation than the claim that United Way was so competent as to have super secret knowledge about a super secret conspiracy but wasn’t competent enough to wait three days before posting a site related to that super secret conspiracy (but still forward date the SSL certificate for the appropriate date).

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