Tracing right-wing alt-reality on Twitter

At 8:15 on Wednesday morning, the right-wing Twitter personality Jack Posobiec retweeted a straightforward breaking-news alert: Someone had fired on a group of Republican congressmen practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Va.

Five minutes later, he tweeted another news link, with the caption “Terrorist Attacks GOP Baseball Practice in Alexandria.” Four minutes after that, as reports were surfacing that a man near the field had asked two congressmen whether the players were Democrats or Republicans, Posobiec tweeted again: “After Kathy Griffin and Julius Ceasar [sic], the Russia conspiracy theory, the Left and MSM inspired today’s terrorist attack.”

Posobiec, 33, is a Norristown native who gained tens of thousands of Twitter followers during the campaign season, and his feed Wednesday was a primer for how the story of the shooting that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R., La.) and four others was framed in far-right media in the hours after it took place.

Jack Posobiec, a Norristown native, is a high-powered spinner on the far-right precincts of Twitter.

Liberal anti-Trump rhetoric was to blame for the shootings, Posobiec and other heavy hitters on conservative Twitter said, and so was the mainstream media for disseminating the talk. On Wednesday, Posobiec shared something that seemed to back his theory: a video that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had filmed in March about resisting the Trump administration’s policies. “Flashback: Loretta Lynch: ‘We Need More…

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