Two thirds of American (68%) get their news via social media ( 2018 Pew Research Center) . Facebook is far and away where most people get their news. (1 in 4). 59% of all links shared on social networks aren’t actually clicked on at all , implying the majority of article shared aren’t based on actual reading. (Forbes Aug 2016)
The tools are simple. An attention grabbing headline. Filter that headline to a specific demographic. Liberal, Conservative, extremest etc. and within hours it will reach Facebook. Extreme views will often enter through the back door in the form of Direct Message (DM’s) and eventually make it to someones timeline. Because only 41% of these articles are actually read, they are rarely aged out.
October 2016: Various anonymous Twitter accounts began posting false rumors that Anthony Weiner’s laptop had been recovered by the FBI, and that on it was proof that he had been involved in child sexual abuse. The rumors quickly grew on the alt right community and among supporters of Donald Trump. Detail in the stories grew linking the Democrats to pedophila and human trafficking ring supposedly by New York PD. On various fake news sites.
Pizzagate is born
November 2016: What began as a conspiracy theory during the 2016 Presidential race went viral. After the personal email account of Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta was hacked and released by WikiLeaks. Theorist claimed the emails contained coded messages connecting restaurants and high ranking Democrats with an alleged sex ring involving the pizzeria “Comet Ping Pong” in Washington DC. Those involved in promoting pizzagate began to claim that a code was being used – that code included references to junk food, including “pizza”, which was supposedly used in place of the word “girl”.
While Pizzagate has been wildly debunked by the media, from Fox News to the New York Times and the stories have been removed by Facebook, Tweeter and other sites. Its far from dead. It’s still alive in the media universe. A story encouraged by Michael Flynn about the evil Democrats, Hillary Clinton, sex trafficking children in tunnels under the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria in Washington D.C.
December 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch, a 28-year-old man from Salisbury, North Carolina. On the 4th, he fired three shots into the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria in Washington DC using a AR 15 rifle , striking walls, a desk, and a door. According to court documents, Welch attempted to recruit friends three days before the attack by urging them to watch a YouTube video about the conspiracy. Mr Welch is currently in prison,serving a four year term.
A few days later. 52 year old Yusif Lee Jones of Shreveport Louisiana intending to call Comet, mistakenly called Besta Pizza and told employees he was trying to “save the kids” and threatened to “shoot everyone in the place,” Mr Jones was sentenced to a month in Jail and two years supervised release.
January 2019, Ryan Rimas Jaselskis 22, of Northridge, Ca set fire to the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria in Washington DC. Workers in the restaurant successfully out the fire. He faces up to 20 years in jail .
PizzaGate from Rumor to hashtag to gunfire in DC
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