There is too much fake news.

In the olden days being a contrarian was a noble profession.

Recently a North Carolina man named Edgar M. Welch read that a Washington D.C. pizza restaurant was harbouring children as sex slaves as part of a child-abuse ring led by U.S. politicians John Podesta and Hillary Clinton.

Enraged, the 28-year-old father of two drove to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria to investigate the alleged child-sex conspiracy theory for himself. He arrived there heavily armed and fired a shot from his rifle. The police arrested him and charged him with assault with a dangerous weapon. Nobody was hurt.

Welch had been duped by a fake news story that had spread across the web like mozzarella on a pizza pie. The stories appeared on Facebook and Twitter. They were soon exposed as false by a number of news outlets but they’ve continued to circulate online despite having zero evidence to support them.

Real news articles trying to debunk the fakes were themselves victimized by the madness. Shortly after Welch was charged, claims surfaced that he was an actor hired by the child-abuse ring to throw everybody off.

This goes to show you that the online world is similar to the world of magic and myth popularized by Columbian author Gabriel Márquez, the pioneer of a literary style called magical realism.

In Márquez’s books, people interact with ghosts, a town is plagued by a great forgetfulness which forces its residents to write everything down on post-it notes to get by, a woman ascends into the sky because she’s too beautiful and so on.

In other words, magical realism is beautiful but it isn’t real. It’s hard to say how much fake news there is on the web but stories like the one claiming Donald Trump won the popular vote, are damaging the credibility of both traditional news people and hardworking conspiracy theorists.

In the olden days being a contrarian was a noble profession. There was a role for these out-of-the-box thinkers. Today some have crossed over from healthy scepticism into fantasy.

The web is too full of magical realists bouncing ideas off one another until critical mass is reached and one unlucky guy actually walks into a pizza shop looking for child-molesters to kill.

On the bright side, all the fake news on social media will ensure reporters and news outlets will have employment for years to come as Facebook checkers. Welch is a Pizza-gate victim and another is James Alefantis, the owner of Comet Ping Pong who continues to be pestered by folks who can’t distinguish fantasy from reality.

“I hope that those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment to contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away,” he said in a statement.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Fernie Swim team aims for Nationals

Aidan Chudleigh has high hopes for his swim team this year, and… Continue reading

Jaffray Area OCP goes to public hearing

The public hearing will be held November 22nd at 7:00 PM at the Jaffray Community Hall.

Oil dumped illegally at Tie Lake Transfer Station

The Regional District of East Kootenay is searching for any information in… Continue reading

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

First shovel hits ground at Sparwood Skate Park

It was an exciting day on Wednesday, November 8, when the first… Continue reading

Run, hide, fight — surviving an active shooter situation

A former Kelowna cop teaches how to survive an active shooter situation

Sparwood florist to compete nationally

The Maple Leaf Cup; where art and flower design meet under one… Continue reading

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey. White Rock

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Federal government to boost treatment options for opioid drug users: minister

More than 2,800 people died last year as a result of the overdose crisis

Ambulance design changes urged after B.C. man falls out, dies

A coroner’s jury makes recommendations after hearing about death of Ebony Aaron Wood

MLAs unanimous on B.C. wildfire recovery

Finance committee calls for rapid salvage, reforestation

One stick of pepperoni costs Hedley man $500

A Hedley man enjoyed a snack and then refused to pay for it - landing him in court

Most Read