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We studied thousands of anonymous posts about the Parkland attack — and found a conspiracy in the making

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By Craig Timberg and Drew Harwell February 27 at 7:08 PM Email the author

"Forty-seven minutes after news broke of a high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the posters on the anonymous chat board 8chan had devised a plan to bend the public narrative to their own designs: “Start looking for [Jewish] numerology and crisis actors.”

The voices from this dark corner of the Internet quickly coalesced around a plan of attack: Use details gleaned from news reports and other sources to push false information about one of America’s deadliest school shootings.

The posters on anonymous forums, a cauldron of far-right extremist politics, over the next few hours speculated about the shooter’s ethnicity (“Hope the kid isn’t white”) and cracked off-color jokes. They began crafting false explanations about the massacre, including that actors were posing as students, in hopes of blunting what they correctly guessed would be a revived interest in gun control..."

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Don't even talk to us about conspiracy theories.

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4chan and 8chan are utter hellholes. They're basically support groups for hateful idiots, all trying to one-up each other. That's a big problem with society now -- people are raised on the internet, so they don't get to see the results of what they do. And back in the day if you were a hateful moron, you'd have a hard time because you'd get shunned. Now anyone with any sick idea can not only find other sick people, they get to sit around one-upping each other, thinking stuff like murder and racism are "funny." Spending much time on 4chan or 8chan will make you despair for humanity. 4chan started out just as a place were geeks shared anime pictures, but it's metastasized into something that encourages and amplifies all of mankind's worst instincts, nothing but trolls. The alt-right was spawned there, from "gamergate" -- a thing where a bunch of alienated geeks who hate women were all pissed that females were working in the gaming industry. From there they moved into Nazi stuff. Totally misanthropic and glorying in chaos and misery. They've made a kind of idiotic religion around chaos... their "Pepe the Frog" thing represents Kek, supposedly an Egyptian chaos-god.

And, man, do they love Trump, mostly because he's so hateful and incompetent that he brings about more hate and chaos than anybody. They're giggleheaded idiots who have no idea what they're playing with, because they never get out of their basements and don't actually know anyone. Being online is as close to social interaction as a lot of those geeks get.

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