The leading version of the "Sandy Hook Hoax" theory, such as it is, holds that the incident was staged by the White House as a prelude to disarming America. Many of its claims are rooted in contradictory and confusing media statements that came out of the chaos of the first hours of the shooting, and which are virtually always present in such chaotic moments. (Similar confused media reporting served as the basis of the 9/11 Truth movement.)
The theory is ludicrous, but there is hard evidence that it has begun to go viral.
The leading, anonymous, 30-minute video created by YouTube user ThinkOutsideTheTV had been viewed 10.6 million times by Friday morning. The search engine Topsy
, which measures Twitter conversation, shows discussion of the video rising fast this week starting on Sunday and then, as those conversations peak and drop
, discussion of a "Sandy Hook hoax" largely continuing to rise, with only a slight dip. And Twitter is just a tiny slice of a broader social space that includes Facebook, YouTube, and, in particular, email forwards, which typically are the key communication channels for conspiracy theories.