The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Pizza, politics and pure fiction: the rise of fake news

On Sunday 4th December last year, 28 year old father of two Edgar Welch woke early, told his family he had some chores to do, packed an assault rifle into his car and drove from his North Carolina home to Washington DC – where he walked into the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant, fired three shots and searched the place to see if Hilary Clinton was running a child sex ring from its back room.

Welch was ‘self-investigating’ online rumours – known as PizzaGate – sparked by March’s e-mail leak from Hilary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. Users on the anonymous chat room 4chan claimed that a photo showing two girls sharing a pizza was proof he was involved in human trafficking. With the November leak of new e-mails, other online conspiracy sites then identified Comet Ping Pong as the Democratic party’s trafficking scheme.

Read more in The Telegraph.

FacebookFake NewsPhil HowardPizzagateThe TelegraphU.S. Election

Gillian Bolsover • 7th January 2017

Previous Post

Next Post