(Before It's News)
Owner of the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant James Alefantis, who has been bombarded with online threats
A Washington pizzeria has been bombarded with threats from online trolls following bizarre rumors on fake news sites that Hillary Clinton abused children there.
Staff at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in the capital have been receiving messages on social media and even via text messages with some threatening to kill them.
The owner of the restaurant James Alefantis was at first at a loss as to why him and his workers were receiving abusive messages and why some even saw pictures of their children stolen from social media accounts.
And eventually he discovered several fake news articles that were being shared on social media, alleging that his restaurant was the base for a child abuse ring led by Mrs Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta.
Some of the fake rumors even claimed that kidnapped and trafficked children were being kept in the venue’s back rooms, where they were molested.
It is believe the restaurant was targeted as Mr Alefantis was once in a relationship with outspoken Clinton supporter David Brock.
Meanwhile it is also thought that in several emails sent by Podesta, and leaked by Wikileaks, the campaign manager’s love of Italian food was revealed fuelling the rumors.
And now Mr Alefantis says he has been forced to report all of the abuse to the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, who are monitoring the situation after he caught one supporter of the rumor try to shoot a live video from within the restaurant.
Washington pizza restaurant Comet Ping Pong, which has been bombarded with threats from online trolls following bizarre rumors on fake news sites about Hillary Clinton
The restaurant owner told the New York Times: ‘From this insane, fabricated conspiracy theory, we’ve come under constant assault.
‘I’ve done nothing for days but try to clean this up and protect my staff and friends from being terrorized.’
Meanwhile Bryce Reh, the venue’s general manager says his wife has begged him to leave his job due to the threats they have been receiving.
The rumours concerning Hillary Clinton allege that she and her campaign manager used the restaurant as a place to abuse children
He also told the newspaper: ‘It’s like trying to shoot a swarm of bees with one gun.’
Mrs Clinton and Mr Podesta are yet to comment on the online rumors however, a former Clinton campaign official said Wikileaks had spawned several untrue conspiracy theories.
The rumors come amid online firms such as Facebook and Google coming under fire for not cracking down on fake news sites being shared on their networks.
Last week both Google and Facebook announced plans to fight the spread of fake news by placing tighter restrictions on how such sites make money from advertising.
Google has revealed it is working on a policy change to its AdSense online advertising network that will prevent websites with misleading content from using it to earn money, while Facebook has said it is updating its advertising policy to restrict adverts appearing alongside ‘misleading or deceptive’ content.
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