On Facebook, a user named Carmen Katz wrote, "My NYPD source said its much more vile and serious than classified material on Weiner's device. We're talking an international child enslavement and sex ring." Krist Novoselic on How to Stop Fake News Without Congress Nirvana bassist and electoral-reform activist writes that citizen investors have the power to stop fake news on social media – even if Congress won't Katz's Facebook profile listed her residence as Joplin, Missouri.
But searching through her online activity, we noticed another clue: Every time she posted petitions on Change.org, such as "Put Donald Trump's Face on Mount Rushmore," the last signer was invariably Cynthia Campbell of Joplin.
He claimed to be leaking government secrets – á la Edward Snowden – out of a love for country, but it wasn't always clear which country he meant. They get paid in children as well as money." "Does Hillary have sex with kidnapped girls? Another possible germ of Pizzagate appeared online about 10 hours before Katz posted her story on Facebook.
At various times, he wrote, "Russia is more a paragon of freedom and nationalism than any other country" and "We are the aggressors against Russia." FBIAnon's secrets were about the Department of Justice's inquiry into the Clinton Foundation, which federal prosecutors never formalized. Thee RANT describes itself as a message board for "New York City cops speaking their minds." Virtually everyone on the site uses an identity-masking screen name.
Several media outlets quickly traced the contours of what became known as Pizzagate: The claim that Hillary Clinton was a pedophile started in a Facebook post, spread to Twitter and then went viral with the help of far-right platforms like Breitbart and Info-Wars.
But it was unclear whether Pizzagate was mass hysteria or the work of politicos with real resources and agendas.