Like the stuff Alex Jones blurts out without anymore evidence than a master burglar would leave at the scene of a crime, conspiracy websites like 4chan disseminate disinformation to a hungry and all-to-willing GOP base. Disinformation is just the new form of what used to be called propaganda and is basically a formula made of one part conspiracy theory, one part internet availability, and one part a susceptible audience of low-information voters. The same internet that spreads the misinformation is also the mechanism that can both track down the origins of the misinformation campaigns and serves as cover for the purveyors because it is impossible to know who is who or what their intentions might be on an anonymous medium like the internet. Most people aren't investigative reporters or tech savvy researchers capable of ferreting out truth from fiction so most people rely on trusting or mistrusting a few cherished sources that they rabidly consume and staunchly defend. The Hunter Biden Ukraine conspiracy theory is just one small example of the power of these dark web conspiracy theories. You might notice that nobody can say exactly what Hunter Biden, and by extension Joe Biden, is being accused of but that we should investigate "the whole situation" because it smells like corruption. In reality, this conspiracy theory was actually investigated by the intelligence community and found to be completely without any merit whatsoever. They even tracked down the origins of the story and felt like their time and resources had been completely wasted. Another product of these false narratives is that we spend time and resources on fairy tales rather than real issues. Trust is another casualty of this type of nonsense. Not knowing who to trust means that you trust along your partisan values which makes you even more susceptible to misinformation because you have no counter balance to weigh your opinions against and it also helps to further divide America along political lines. There is no disputing that this is already occurring more rapidly today than ever before. I wish it were only one conspiracy theory that made its all the way to the White House but alas, several have found their home in the head of a president that is incapable of discerning fact from fiction and political narcissism from reason. A wiser man would never have ventured down this dark path and brought his presidency to the brink of collapse. He is ensnared in the trap of his own inadequacies and we are left to preform the vivisection on the beast that we let into the house. Like it or not, we've just run up against the realities of a society with free speech and the limits we have to consider going forward. If it can be used to destroy us, what good is unfettered free speech in the end?