Following our previous roundup of insane conspiracy theories regarding the mass murder, Michael Moynihan reports for the Daily Beast on the paranoiacs who variously claim that “the government was behind the school massacre. Wait, it was Obama, in a ruse to take our guns away. No, it was Iran! Israel! Batman!”:
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In the mid-1990s, during the infancy of the World Wide Web, a visit to my local university library demonstrated that the Internet would be both a great tool of liberation and a megaphone for the fantastically mad. That small bank of Internet-connected computer terminals was reliably occupied by a few student researchers and an army of honking, snorting, flaky-skinned cranks, furiously posting to Internet bulletin boards. (I frequently traded pleasantries with one twitchy local who wore homemade body armor, claiming that it shielded his organs from computer smog while browsing the Internet.)
Almost 20 years later, behold how Tim Berners-Lee liberated the crackpot from his world of Manichean newsletters, how he freed the basement-dwelling “researcher” to hawk bad ideas to the undereducated and paranoid (think of the 9/11 “truth” movement).