If you’ve been paying attention to some of the psychotic conspiracy theories floating around social media, you’ve likely seen the hashtag, #PizzaGate.
The origins of the hashtag were born of conspiracy theories that began on a Reddit board dedicated to Donald Trump. The rumor alleged that a Washington D.C. pizza parlor, called Comet Ping Pong, loosely connected to an associate of Hillary Clinton was the hub of an organized, underground pedophile ring.
Even though the original Reddit posts were deleted, the hashtag caught fire and no amount of debunking could extricate Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, or Democrats, in general, from the power of an internet hoax.
And as happens with hoaxes, there are people in the world who will take them and run with them.
On Sunday afternoon, D.C. police were called to deal with the consequences of the internet hoax.
According to the Washington Post, police received a call about a man with a weapon after 3 p.m.
The man was quickly apprehended and there were no reports of injuries or shots fired, D.C’s Fox News affiliate reports.
While none of the stories were true, the restaurant’s owner had to contact the FBI, local police and social media platforms to remove the articles.
According to Fox, the D.C. Police Department will continue keeping an eye on those threatening the restaurant and its employees.
Nobody was hurt this time, thanks to authorities, but it could have been so much worse, all based on an internet lie.