In May, FBI agents in Phoenix issued an intelligence bulletin warning that conspiracy theories( such as QAnon, “very likely motivate some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity.” In July, that the counter-terrorism centre at West Point printed an article naming QAnon that a possible safety hazard.
Online, QAnon fans have helped spread misinformation about climate change, such as a current claim which wildfires in the western United States were due to antifa activists,” View said. The belief that disasters such as wildfires or the pandemic should have been proposed is attribute of QAnon adherents, ” he explained.
“People say that QAnon is a conspiracy theory. That undersells it. It’s not like believing there are UFOs in Area 51 or that Bigfoot lives in Oregon,” View said. “This is an all-encompassing worldview, and it’s an extremist belief that you are a digital soldier fighting evil, and that by posting and meme-ing, you can revolutionarily change the world.”
Currently, 2 in 10 Americans, containing four 10 Republicans, state that QAnon is a “somewhat good” or “very good” entity for the nation, based on Pew Research. Some 81 present or previous congressional candidates have in some manner encouraged QAnon, based on Media Matters.
Khoo worries that, if Joe Biden manages to win in November and Democrats treat Congress, QAnon fans will help stymie attempts to pass important climate change laws required to prevent catastrophic warming.
“My greatest fear is that if we have a rare moment to take real action on climate change, they could be the foot soldiers that stop that,” Khoo said. “It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever encountered.”
View stated the social networking companies have a crucial part to play in coming disinformation, if it relates to QAnon or climate change denial, however these companies — Facebook, specifically — have mostly failed in that obligation.
Though Facebook removed hundreds of all QAnon accounts a month, in different ways it’s enabled disinformation to proliferate, particularly in regards to climate change. It has allowed users, in some instances, to promote opinion pieces that comprise false claims regarding climate change, and it’s neglected to take down disinformation, much less eliminate repeat offenders, Khoo said. This has created an opening for characters such as Seibt.
To help address the spread of climate denial, Facebook recently established the Climate Science Information Center, which will teach users regarding climate change. But green classes ( such as Friends of those Earth, that the Sierra Club, that the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace called on Facebook to perform more.
“Climate deniers are an easy group to define — we gave Facebook the list,” they stated in a statement. “Just as Facebook has taken responsibility for its own carbon emissions, it must take responsibility to stop climate deniers from spreading disinformation on its platform.”
This is particularly pressing as deniers develop cozier with QAnon, Khoo stated, adding, “They need to put the spotlight on this group of known climate deniers, and give them a very short leash, where it’s two strikes and they are off the platform.”
The fact that tech companies have done little to rein in conspiracy theories is maybe the best proof that an elite cabal really is not manipulating international affairs.
“If the worlds of media and academia and technology and politics all came together, the most powerful people in all of these realms, and decided that this was something worth addressing, and took serious action to help stem it, they could,” View said. “I just don’t think they’re going to.”
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