This month in Washington, a gunman shot up Comet Ping Pong pizzeria, threatening customers and workers and terrorizing an entire neighborhood. For months, internet conspiracy theorists have accused Comet’s owners and leading figures of the Democratic Party of running a child pornography ring out of the restaurant, complete with satanic symbols and underground tunnels. And what did Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis do to earn such venom? He emailed with Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, about hosting a fundraiser.
This attack on liberal politics and an opposition party was not organized by some authoritarian state, the Republican Party or President-elect Donald Trump…. Instead, this political violence emerged from a self-organized pack of irate, fear-mongering, right-wing conspiracy theorists reacting to whispers about Clinton in fake news and on social media and the Web.
This is Little Brother — millions of irrational people spreading lies, sowing doubt and fomenting violence. Thanks to Little Brother, the government — Trump and his incoming administration, in this case—doesn’t have to directly threaten the political opposition or spread propaganda on its own.