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PizzaGate Exemplifies the Growing Threat of Fake News

PizzaGate Exemplifies the Growing Threat of Fake News

On Sunday in Washington, D.C., a man carrying an assault rifle entered Comet Ping Pong Restaurant, a pizzeria. The man from North Carolina was hunting down the “truth” behind a story that originated online and connected Hillary Clinton to the pizzeria’s owner and an alleged child sex operation. He was investigating a conspiracy theory through and through—baseless information fueled by social media and “news” websites that do not fact check or investigate their stories. The story goes like this: Last month, just before Election Day, fake reports indicated that Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, were involved in a child sex operation at Comet Ping Pong. People showed up at Comet Ping Pong to check if the establishment indeed had a basement where these operations were taking place (it doesn’t) and the alt-right’s online world threatened its owner, James Alefantis, and his employees. There is seemingly zero truth in any of this conspiracy theories, but the…

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