Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fake News Brings Life-Threatening Consequences in National Capital

by Wayne Rash | Posted 20106-12-07

NEWS ANALYSIS: Enraged by fake news story, a man fires a rifle three time into a pizza restaurant in the U.S. capital, bringing urgency to efforts to find ways to rein in false rumor stories circulating on the internet.

WASHINGTON—It was an event that many of us in the news business have feared would happen: A deranged gunman, fueled by passion based on a series of fake news stories, came to the nation's capital with an assault rifle, entered a place of business and fired.

The gunman, Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina, was quickly arrested after shooting into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria three times. He told police after he was arrested that he came to Washington to investigate reports of a child sex-trafficking ring being run out of the pizzeria by Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta.

The fake news about Comet Ping Pong had been circulating on social media since before the election, with increasingly shrill stories seemingly attributed to reliable media sources. The stories got so far out of control that one site, Reddit, banned any discussion of what had become known as "pizzagate" from its forums.

But that wasn't the only incident based on this fake news story. Read more...

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