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‘PizzaGate’ Conspiracy Theory Thrives Anew in the TikTok Era
The false theory targeting Democrats, now fueled by QAnon and teenagers on TikTok, is entangling new targets like Justin Bieber.
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WASHINGTON — Four minutes into a video that was posted on Instagram last month, Justin Bieber leaned into the camera and adjusted the front of his black knit beanie. For some of his 130 million followers, it was a signal.

In the video, someone had posted a comment asking Mr. Bieber to touch his hat if he had been a victim of a child-trafficking ring known as PizzaGate. Thousands of comments were flooding in, and there was no evidence that Mr. Bieber had seen that message. But the pop star’s innocuous gesture set off a flurry of online activity, which highlighted the resurgence of one of social media’s early conspiracy theories.

Viewers quickly uploaded hundreds of videos online analyzing Mr. Bieber’s action. The videos were translated into Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, amassing millions of views. Fans then left thousands of comments on Mr. Bieber’s social media posts asking him if he was safe. Within days, searches for “Justin and PizzaGate” soared on Google, and the hashtag #savebieber started trending.

Four years ago, ahead of the 2016 presidential election, the baseless notion that Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of a Washington pizzeria spread across the internet, illustrating how a crackpot idea with no truth to it could blossom on social media — and how dangerous it could be. In December 2016, a vigilante gunman showed up at the restaurant with an assault rifle and opened fire into a closet.

In the years afterward, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube managed to largely suppress PizzaGate. But now, just months before the next presidential election, the conspiracy theory is making a comeback on these platforms — and on new ones such as TikTok — underlining the limits of their efforts to stamp out dangerous speech online and how little has changed despite rising public frustration.

This time, PizzaGate is being fueled by a younger generation that is active on TikTok, which was in its infancy four years ago, as well as on other social media platforms. The conspiracy group QAnon is also promoting PizzaGate in private Facebook groups and creating easy-to-share memes on it.

Driven by these new elements, the theory has morphed. PizzaGate no longer focuses on Mrs. Clinton and has taken on less of a political bent. Its new targets and victims are a broader assortment of powerful businesspeople, politicians and celebrities, including Mr. Bieber, Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey and Chrissy Teigen, who are lumped together as part of the global elite. For groups like QAnon, PizzaGate has become a convenient way to foment discontent.

The theory has also gone global. While it previously found traction mainly in the United States, videos and posts about it have racked up millions of views in Italy, Brazil and Turkey.

“PizzaGate never went away because it encompasses very potent forces,” including children’s safety and the power of elites, said Alice Marwick, a disinformation expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “But now there is so much scaffolding from people who have researched it, it wasn’t hard for others to pick up from there.”

PizzaGate is reaching a level that nearly exceeds its 2016 fever pitch, according to an analysis by The New York Times. TikTok posts with the #PizzaGate hashtag have been viewed more than 82 million times in recent months. Google searches for PizzaGate have skyrocketed.

In the first week of June, comments, likes and shares of PizzaGate also spiked to more than 800,000 on Facebook and nearly 600,000 on Instagram, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool for analyzing social interactions. That compares with 512,000 interactions on Facebook and 93,000 on Instagram during the first week of December 2016. From the start of 2017 through January this year, the average number of weekly PizzaGate mentions, likes and shares on Facebook and Instagram was under 20,000, according to The Times’s analysis.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Conspiracy Theories, Pizzagate 
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  1. I have two sincere questions. I don’t dismiss Pizzagate. To those who believe it is true, do you have actual names of victims who are willing to give their testimony? My question is to the mainstream media who claims this “conspiracy theory” has debunked. What evidence debunks it? Simply saying something has been debunked does not make it so.

  2. The NYT uses a bunch of classic disinformation techniques in this hit piece.

    How many can you identify?

    Here is one–they claim Pizzagate targeted Democrats when in fact one of the Podesta emails that began the discussion was about a former Republican Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. The writer told Podesta they were worried that Hastert would spill the beans on other pedophiles in DC.

    Pizzagate is about the wealthy and powerful elites–they control both political parties, and of course the major media outlets like the New York Times.

    Claiming it is just about Democrats is the classic “divide and conquer” disinformation technique.

  3. Fr. John says:
    @Pinche Perro

    “Simply saying something has been debunked does not make it so.”

    It does, when a certain (((tribe))) is behind it. Every. Single. Time.

    “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” Lk. 8:17, NLT

    • Replies: @Pinche Perro
  4. Justvisiting, which email? I have not seen it.

    This observer presumes that Pizzagate is distorted chaff to divert attention from the ongoing Manson/Franklin/Presidio/House page/Second Mile/Arrow Family Ministries/Epstein/… child trafficking enterprise for VIP pedo kompromat by Mossad and CIA. People who cite Pizzagate can then be vilified as violent conspiracy nuts, and Pizzagate can be listed with the documented exploitation rings as 1035-960 ‘conspiracy theories.’

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
  5. @Fr. John

    The New Living Translation isn’t a very good translation of the Bible. I suggest you go with the New American Standard Bible.

  6. Pizzagate is short hand for high level sexual blackmail.

    A bought person can always turn against the one bribing him and deal with the public consequences:

    “I took the pieces of silver, but now I want to repent my (only) sin”.

    However, the person who has sexual blackmail hanging over their head cannot bring forward the bribery without triggering a very serious exposure of their (possibly criminal) sexual and moral weakness.

    For the one doing the bribing, sexual blackmail is insurance on top of the financial payoffs.

  7. anon[402] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pinche Perro

    To those who believe it is true, do you have actual names of victims who are willing to give their testimony?

    The victims can’t give testimony, they’ve all been murdered (often in ritual sacrifice).

    • Replies: @Pinche Perro
  8. El Dato says:

    What is the NYT front page? It is the blackboard for outer party members to stay informed with which country we are at war today.

    If there is a lively “happening now” story about PizzaGate getting “debunked” on the NYT front page, there is a reason for that. One might think it fell from the red interference fax, the one with the klaxon. One might not be wrong.

    You are supposed to declare that Nothing Is Going On at the 18:00 cocktail party.

    Same as there is a reason for a NYT front page emission about “Russian bounties on US servicemen heads in Afghanistan” which is sold as true even though no-one has ever heard anything about that. One might think it fell from the red neocon fax. One might not be wrong.

    You are supposed to declare that Russia must be destroyed at the 18:00 cocktail party.

    Imagine if instead there was a lively story about Assange (say) getting the whole nine yards of TLA top surveillance, Guardian “reporting”, legal railroading and being left to rot in prison awaiting extradition proceedings ultimately based on dropped “burst condom” accusations made by a honeypot with well-alleged ties to a TLA.

    That would induce crimethink.

    • Agree: GazaPlanet
    • Replies: @DonaldKrump
  9. unit472 says:

    “Pizzagate” has a lot more credibility to it than ‘Russian Collusion’ or BLM. Ask Jeffrey Epstein… oh we can’t because he was killed in Federal custody. OK let’s get Prince Andrew under oath, he’s still alive but he probably won’t be for long if he was arrested.

  10. @anon

    Do you have any more information on this? Links? Documents?

  11. @Pinche Perro

    I’d be willing to argue that the girls trafficked by Jeffery Epstein and Co. could count. We hear all the time about the 15-17 year old girls like Virginia Roberts, but a little discussed fact is that Epstein was pimping girls as young as 11-12. Hundreds of other Epstein victims trafficked as kids exist, we just never see or hear their names on the news. I wonder why?

    Another good example are the kids Laura Silsby-Gayler tried to kidnap from Haiti. Is there any doubt that those kids were going to be cheese pizzas?

  12. Anonymous[177] • Disclaimer says:

    look up “outofshadows” documentary

  13. The NYT is no longer written by adults. The paper has been evil for a very long time, but it used to be managed by evil grown-ups, at least. Just look at the teenage flop-sweat all over this article: “baseless, false, debunked, crackpot…” and on and on it goes. Argument by assertion, argument by insistence, argument by sheer, wearying repetition.

    Forget the fact that the whole basis of the article is questionable. I simply can’t believe the low grade of writing that is propping it all up.

  14. @Hastert's Can Opener

    The Hastert email:

    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3664

    Context: At the time of the email Hastert was in a federal prison and irrelevant to everyone in the political world.

  15. Extremely unusual behavior by George Gallway! Starting at 46:56 minutes into the radion show, a man from New Orleans calls in stating that he was molested by Free Masons, and that other children in the area wound up being murdered by them, but that he was not murdered because his uncle was Bobby Delores, ( it was difficult to understand name, but I think that that is correct ) Speaker of the House of the Louisania state legislature, and that Free Masons killed his grandfather who was a head NASA scientist investigating problems with space shuttle parts, and that police came into his house and murdered his wife and children and blamed it on a black man named Dwayne Parker. Galloway, said well, we the hour does not permit us to investigate all of that and moved onto the next caller. I realize that anyone could possibly call and say just about anything, but it strikes me as odd since Galloway is a self-proclaimed BLM supporter that Galloway at least did not ask if the caller had reached out to anyone over the police murders and false charges, or ask him to leave contact information with the producer so that the matter could be further investigated!

    https://sputniknews.com/radio-moats/202006291079750203-us-election-racism-glasgow-stabbing-coronavirus-medical-update/

  16. I was wired by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney (Southern District of New York) obtained the wire order from federal court.

    Frances Fragos became Frances Townsend, when she married.

    Frances Townsend served as Homeland Security Advisor to President George W Bush.

    AUSA Frances Fragos covered up narcotics smuggling, money laundering, and rape on Wall Street.

    Read the New York State Appellate Division ruling on Dawn Bantum v American Stock Exchange to understand how Wall Street millionaires can get away with rape and this applies to narcotics smuggling.

    The American Stock Exchange is a self-governing entity and cannot be sued in a civil court.

    This also applies to narcotics smuggling.

    Edward Manfredonia

  17. Franz says:
    @Pinche Perro

    I don’t dismiss Pizzagate… My question is to the mainstream media who claims this “conspiracy theory” has debunked.

    That’s the conundrum the CIA created when they crafted the use of “conspiracy theory” as a rebuttal to anything citizens are aware of, hear of, but cannot be documented (for various reasons).

    A successful conspiracy is by definition impossible to prove.

    A small number of powerful people committing gigantic theft, for instance, are untouchable. The level of their security clearance and their pay grade effectively stops interference from any mere citizen. If they were to get caught red-handed by one of us, we’d have a fatal accident.

    Or a whole office might get blown up. On September 10th, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld announced that over two trillion dollars went “missing” from the Department of Defense, as revealed at the US Naval accounting offices in the Pentagon. On September 11th, 2001, that precise area was hit in the “Attack on America” so whatever and however many dollars went missing, or was looted, is now long blasted to dust.

    If Pizzagate is real the victims are dead, the witnesses are dead, and any incriminating evidence has been shredded. The agencies have billions of dollars; cleaning something like that is peanuts.

    • Replies: @anon
  18. Pizzagate was a label created by the MSM to ridicule any supportive evidence or further investigation of what was obviously a major scandal involving the sexual abuse of children by members of the highest levels of our ruling and political classes.

    Among this evidence was a trove of material suggesting that the Podesta brothers – whose emails started the whole Pizzagate — might have been involved in the disappearance of Madeline McCann. https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/top-news/podesta-brothers-revealed/. Anyone familiar with the generally poor quality of police sketches has to be struck by the amazing resemblance between two “persons of interest in the McCann case and the Podesta brothers, many years before Pizzagate made the two infamous.

    It’s interesting that now, just when Pizzagate is gaining new traction, German police claim to have solved the McCann case https://nypost.com/2020/06/30/strong-evidence-madeleine-mccann-is-dead-authorities-say/. This is a very convenient way to close one link to the Pizzagate story that might prove dangerous to the MSM’s official narrative that Pizzagate has been debunked. In any event this all bears careful watching.

    At some point those seeking to bury the Pizzagate scandal will make a misstep. Then things will get interesting.

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
  19. @Jus' Sayin'...

    The Podesta emails had enough information to give prosecutors in a variety of locations specific names of people to investigate (including of course the Podesta brothers).

    Podesta himself _never_ responded to the content of those emails–he acknowledged receipt but not much else.

    I would imagine he was muttering to himself “how the f&^% can you be stupid enough to put _that_ in an email?”

    The toothpaste did escape the tube, and the elite owners of the mass media have been busy trying to intimidate people to get them to look the other way.

  20. anon[102] • Disclaimer says:
    @Franz

    Amen dude. Thats pretty much what I think. The mossad has professional killers that know what they are doing, and we probably have some too, even if they are contracted out from drug cartels in return for us looking the other way for a few months drug trade or whatever. There have always been mercenaries on this planet who will take a life for pay.

    Here is what I think many miss: Business leaders getting pizza/blackmailed for it for monetary reasons.

    I will give you an example (I dont think this is pizza, but an example of a decision that benefited the establishment by a wealthy man): Steve Case at America Online had it -all- in 1997. Everybody online seemed to be on AOL. AOL had a search engine (We now have google). AOL had multiple profiles available for users (like facebook now). AOL had a quote you could leave at the bottom of your profile that you could change daily (sort of like twitter). You could instant message people on AOL and send photos (kinda like instagram). AOL had everybody. Then for no apparent reason Steve Case got in bed businesswise with Gerald Levin of Timewarner. AOL waited to go broadband, AOL’s service began to stink, rumors swirled about AOL not letting people leave (which of course stampeded them to do just that), and numerous other little sands seemed to get thrown in AOLs theretofore smoothly running gears. Case would have been the richest guy on earth if he handled stuff right, but instead when he partnered with TW things seemed to get run right into the ground.

    It reminded me of when Ted Turner combined CNN with TW and then Ted was fired basically, losing a ton of his wealth in the process.

    Did the establishment’s ops team have something on these guys that persuaded them to make these lousy deals?

    I dont know if they did, but one hears of successful businesspeople who make stunningly bad moves sometimes. I wonder if they get blackmailed to make those “big mistake” moves in these cases. Epstein is the one guy we know that had business professionals, scientists, and politicians down on that island of his. There may be other Epsteins we have never heard of. I imagine on tactic these people use would be slipping in euphoric stimulants into the marks food (or take them to restuaraunts where the elites may have a plant employee in the kitchen. Taking a bit of booze along with some designer euphoric/sex-arousal dose at the right time, surrounded by the right attractive people paid to compromise them, might get men or women who are otherwise on the up-and-up to make a tremendous life mistake that could ruin their marriage, cost them their kids in divorce court etc. Seeing how low our elites will stoop to get what they want, it would not surprise me if these underhanded tactics were ran.

    • Replies: @Franz
  21. Adding on to my above comment 16, I recall George Galloway stating several months ago on his radio show that he is a member of The Fabian Society, which is known for Eugenics and Marxism, which would explain his support for the lockdowns, forced testing, forced vax, and complete fascist control over everyone, every action of their lives, and over everything in society. These people are insane, by all accounts. They must resort to lying, because they are totally aware that nobody would ever willingly consent to their policies if they were ever told the truth of what those policies would entail. What if the Eugenist Marxists happened to decide that George Galloway was genetically inferior, and must be extrajudicially euthanized for the greater good?

    A bar fight broke out in Arkansas reported by Sputnik today, where a surgically masked woman perched at the bar in a bar and grill, started screaming at another customer, ” You are supposed to be six feet away from me!”

    How is it that someone can eat and drink with a surgical mask anyways?!

    This was obviously a circus performance act!

  22. No headline coverage on this site on the arrest of Ghilsaine Maxwell in New Hampshire by the FBI? That is very surprising! Global Research has not reported it either. I do not understand editors. Pizza gate history, when the real deal is playing out in real time! Main Stream is covering it. What is going on? Very, very, strange that Pizza Gate and QAnon takes precident of the Maxwell arrest!

  23. Why the deafening silence on the FBI arrest of Ghilsaine Maxwell on alternative media, including this site, Global Research, MintpressNews, Off-Guardian, and other sites?! Did you even know that Ghilsaine Maxwell was one of the major players? I am stunned at the complete lack of coverage! Willing to cover Epstein, Pizza gate, QAnon, but not Ghilsaine Maxwell, that puchased a house for
    $15 million in cash in Bedford, New Hampshire?!

    Just out making massive cash real estate deals, in the middle of all of this? As if life would just go on as usual?!

    This is quite alarming that she has remained under the radar, previously reported to be in France, which has no extradition treaty with the United States, but, there she was, just hanging out in a $15 million house in New Hapshire, as if nobody would mind or notice!

    Who knows what will happen! MSM is jumping all over it! Ivana Trump had reportedly been associating with them, reported by Whitney Webb on Sputnik radio a few months ago, and said that Ivanka was looking for models that were smart talented girls with good grades, but did not mention
    sexual impropriety.

  24. Franz says:
    @anon

    It reminded me of when Ted Turner combined CNN with TW and then Ted was fired basically, losing a ton of his wealth in the process.

    Did the establishment’s ops team have something on these guys that persuaded them to make these lousy deals?

    Turner was a classic example of being an untrustworthy player in a game only a few insiders are allowed to play.

    What interested me is that Turner was a replay of what Cecil B. De Mille caught in the 1930s. He’d had his own production team and logo at Paramount, making them fortunes. Adolf Zukor blackballed him anyway, cutting the floor out from under him and forcing him out. Zukor told De Mille that “You never were one of us,” and De Mille never forgave him. Because Cecil had other connections, he was not destroyed, but Zukor’s goons at Paramount were able to give him quite a few lean years when he could least afford it.

    Gore Vidal got the same treatment from Paddy Chayefsky. The entertainment world has loads of gatekeepers. No matter how strong you are, they’ve got too many dirty tricks and all the lawyers work for them.

    The rot went from the margins of American economic life to the mainstream.

  25. anon[714] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pinche Perro

    do you have actual names of victims who are willing to give their testimony?

    I don’t think so. For instance, I don’t know that anyone has run down the photos in Alefantis’ instagram feed. Of course the central underpinning thesis here is that the comprehensive corruption of virtually every institution in the “free world” is driven by groups using (possibly ritual) child abuse to blackmail and control key power brokers. Ergo Epstein. And thus it goes to a more general pattern that has cropped up for decades, including but not limited to

    * Dennis Hastert who is directly spoken of in the Podesta emails (the allusions therein pretty much sparked PG)
    * Similar incident(s) in the UK, not the least being the government complicity in the Rotherham scandal
    * Madeleine Mccann and the Podestas; there’s a rabbit hole there as a cursory web search will reveal. The police sketches of her abductors bear a striking resemblance to the Podestas
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=podesta+madeleine+mccann&t=hk&iax=images&ia=images
    * The most comprehensive, actual investigation was documented in a book called the ‘Franklin Coverup’, which itself spawned a tv documentary which was notoriously shutdown (a grainy copy does circulate the internet)

  26. DJB says:

    Half ass attempt by the Times to cover for the Pedo’s

  27. RodW says:
    @Pinche Perro

    It’s not so much a question of “What evidence debunks it?” as “What evidence is there that any crimes were committed?”. Apart from the McCann case, there doesn’t seem to be any. The rest is just pareidolia, including the “Podesta brothers” identikits.

    If you’re really interested, read all the comments in the two Pizzagate articles on this site, and check out The Anna Raccoon Archives for fascinating insights into Jimmy Savile and Madeleine McCann. She shows that Savile may have been innocent of much that he was accused of.

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