It was an assault rifle being fired in a pizzeria that signaled the severity of Facebookâ€™s fake news problem. Call it Pizzagate â€“ a right-wing conspiracy theory based on a baseless lie by 4chan. The rifle being fired was far from the only danger to employees and the owner of Comet Ping Pong â€“ theyâ€™ve faced death threats and violations of their private lives for weeks. The harassment and threats have now spilled over to affect neighboring businesses and the people who own and work in them.
â€” Brianna Wu â€“ Pizzagate: American politics get the Gamergate treatment
The same tactics used against women in gaming, fueled by a vague, nonsensical internet conspiracy, are being used to fuel political violence. Just as Gamergate was fueled by a non-existent review of a video game, Pizzagate uses equally false information to drive a violent harassment campaign. Now, it has spilled into real-world gun violence, and shows no signs of stopping.
If you think what happens in digital spaces has no bearing in the “real world” this is your wake-up call. Answer it.