- In an interview with The New York Times, Hillary Clinton addressed conspiracy theories about her.
- She addressed the role of Marjorie Taylor Greene and social media in the spreading of false theories.
- “We are facing a mass addiction with the effective purveying of disinformation on social media,” she said.
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Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, senator, secretary of state, and nominee for president, in an interview with The New York Times published Friday addressed the rampant and baseless conspiracy theories about her and her family, including those spread by Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“For me, it does go back to my earliest days in national politics, when it became clear to me that there was a bit of a market in trafficking in the most outlandish accusations and wild stories concerning me, my family, people that we knew, people close to us,” Clinton said in an interview with New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg.
Clinton, who served as secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term in the White House, said that the attacks against her relying on baseless theories, like ones that allege she belongs to a satanic cult, are part of larger cultural sexism and misogyny.
“This is rooted in ancient scapegoating of women, of doing everything to undermine women in the public arena, women with their own voices, women who speak up against power and the patriarchy,” she told The New York Times. “This is a Salem Witch Trials line of argument against independent, outspoken, pushy women. And it began to metastasize around me.”
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The former first lady also addressed how theories against her had been propagated on social media, appearing to blame social-media platforms for the views and theories that have been espoused by individuals like Greene, who this week was stripped through a House vote of her committee assignments as a result of her past and recent comments.
“We are facing a mass addiction with the effective purveying of disinformation on social media,” Clinton said. “I don’t have one iota of sympathy for someone like her, but the algorithms, we are now understanding more than ever we could have, truly are addictive. And whatever it is in our brains for people who go down those rabbit holes, and begin to inhabit this alternative reality, they are, in effect, made to believe.”
As Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan previously reported, Greene has acknowledged numerous baseless theories about Clinton, including “Pizzagate” and “Frazzledrip,” a fictitious video that conspiracy theorists claim shows Hillary Clinton and an aide sexually assault a child, slice off her face, and wear it as a mask.
Democrats, generally, have accused social media companies of being complicit in the spreading of misinformation and disinformation, while Republicans lash out at companies like Facebook and Twitter when their attempts to limit such content involve actions against Republicans, like its permanent suspension of former President Donald Trump in January.