SOME OF the people can be fooled all of the time, and some seem plenty pleased about it when it gives them license to exercise their most malicious impulses. How else to explain the noxious torrent of vitriol, venom and threats trained recently against a popular upper Northwest Washington pizzeria, which has been the subject of ludicrous conspiracy theories alleging that it is the center of a child – abuse racket run by Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta?
The allegations against Comet Ping Pong, reported by the New York Times, are absurd on their face and detached from any gossamer thread of fact. They took root in the dark crevices of the Web and took flight thanks to social media platforms, whose witless “who, us?” posture in the face of misinformation and outright lunacy is a civic embarrassment.
More than that, the use of social media as a platform for outright lies about public figures and, in this case, malevolent rumors about a pleasant neighborhood restaurant popular with families is a menace to private lives, peace and prosperity. In response to the firestorm of anonymous death threats and warnings directed at Comet’s owner, James Alefantis, and some of his employees, D.C. police have had to deploy officers to keep an eye on the restaurant.