At a tribute for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Thursday, Hillary Clinton railed hard against the proliferation of fake news and misinformation that colored the election, warning of the “real life consequences” we face if we don’t nip this shit in the bud.
Politico reports that in her remarks, Clinton urged a bipartisan effort to address the issue, saying “This is not about politics or partisanship. Live are at risk.”
Clinton was most certainly referring to the Sunday night attack on Comet Ping Pong, a Washington D.C. pizzeria that was the center of fake news reports that tied it to a child sex ring run on her behalf. “Pizzagate” and a variety of other insane conspiracy theories that surfaced on Facebook and spread through social media throughout the duration of the election. Beyond the vile volcano of conspiracy theories and misinformation that surfaced everywhere in the United States, Clinton also mentioned “foreign propaganda,” perhaps referring to the role Russian hackers played in leaking John Podesta’s emails to Wikileaks. She called the spread of misinformation “a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly” and urged leaders to step up in order to eradicate this once and for all, for one can assume that over the next four years, it will only get worse.
The person who will soon be in charge of this country only pays attention to this issue when its influence brings unnecessary bad press to his already-worrisome transition. The fact that he spends most of his time ignoring it adds fuel to the fire. While Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg denies that fake news influenced the election and allowed Donald Trump’s win, it’s clear that it’s not just a symptom of the election, but a force that, if allowed to run unchecked, will grow more dangerous and more powerful over the next four years.