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QAnon and on: why the fight against extremist conspiracies is far from over

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  • QAnon and on: why the fight against extremist conspiracies is far from over

    The Storm Is Upon Us by Mike Rothschild is published on Tuesday and looks as if it will be a very interesting read.

    The following article from the Observer comments on the dangers of conspiracy theories, the power of social media to spread such theories, and in particular the QAnon phenomenon.

    WARNING: THE FULL ARTICLE IS QUITE LONG


    The article starts off describing [briefly] Alex Jones' interview with the Q Shaman.and how Jones did a complete volte face during that interview suggesting that Jones [in light of the legal case being brought against and the very real risk of financial ruin] has tried to turn the tables/

    As the Q Shaman launched into his justification of the mob violence that had left five people dead, a diatribe involving reference to the supposed QAnon revelations that the Democratic party was a front for a satanic paedophile ring that Trump was destined to expose and destroy, Jones repeatedly interrupted him. When Chansley asked plaintively why he wouldn’t listen (“you’re a hero to me, man”), Jones cut him off: “Because you’re full of crap!” he yelled. “That’s why! Because every goddamned thing out of you people’s mouths doesn’t come true. I knew what you were on day one and I know what you are now and I’m sick of it! I’m sick of all these witches and warlocks… I can’t talk to you any more. Jesus Christ! Lord help me. Aaargh!”

    This apparent volte face, disowning a web of untruths that he himself had enthusiastically propagated, was a surprise even to the most dedicated of Jones-watchers. During the Trump era, Dan Friesen and Jordan Holmes, a pair of standup comedians from Chicago, had performed the invaluable public service of debunking some of Jones’s wilder theories in a conversational podcast, Knowledge Fight. The events of January, however, gave them the sense that Jones “just felt less and less in control of what he was doing”. They had long been reluctant connoisseurs of the Texan’s rants but from that moment in January onwards, they felt they were witnessing a man flailing in the tide of his own untruths.

    One reading of this abrupt change suggested that Jones, who had made millions of dollars selling “potency pills” to his cultish followers, finally understood that the game was up. For the past year or more, he has been losing a series of legal appeals against the right of the Sandy Hook parents to sue him for defamation and end the unpardonable harassment that had seen them hounded by trolls who believed Infowars’ lies (the channel sent “investigators” to Sandy Hook to try to disinter the bodies of their murdered children and posted pictures that purported to show them alive and well; one parent, Leonard Pozner, who has led the case against Jones, has had to go into hiding to protect himself from reprisals). That legal process threatens to ruin Jones financially; later this summer it should see him face a fuller judicial reckoning. Having exhausted all other defences, his last line of argument appears to be that he – and his millions of followers – had known it was simply a joke all along.


    However, the article continues to make some disturbing comments, namely that demographics may have helped in ensuring that the events of January 6th this year were not more catastrophic than they actually were.

    A 2019 study by researchers at Princeton and New York University showed that Facebook users over the age of 65 were as much as seven times more likely to share fake-news stories and that held true with QAnon. Fortunately, Rothschild says: “This wasn’t Weimar Republic era paramilitaries. These were people who were 40, 50, 60. Many travelled a long distance and had a lot of disposable income to spend on tactical gear and flights and hotels. QAnon brought out something in these people who felt like their way of life was being destroyed by the relentless onslaught of progressivism. Donald Trump became their champion standing in the breach against the rising tide of liberalism


    The article also deals with the impact that the pandemic had on incubating these theories noting that:

    The pandemic created the perfect petri dish for such radicalisation – forcing people into isolation and to spending more time online. One of the seductive qualities of QAnon in this respect is that rather than presenting converts with a raft of developed theories, it acted as an invitation for them, in that favourite internet phrase, “to do their own research”. “Autists” became active participants in conspiracy creation, piecing together and sharing and creating clues, like medieval Bible scholars. You only have to look at forums such as “QAnon Casualties” on the Reddit platforms, a de-radicalisation and self-help conversation for cultists and their broken families, to see just how deep a hold the ideas can take on individuals.


    And it ends with a warning that despite some opinions holding that this phenomenon has blown over that it may actually only be the precursor of something even more dangerous. This particular conspiracy has spread around the world;

    And of course this is far from a US-only phenomenon. Guardian research in the UK from the end of last year, before Facebook shut down tens of thousands of accounts, revealed a sharp rise in the use of QAnon terms among “an unlikely coalition of spirituality and wellness groups, vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ networks, pre-existing conspiracy forums, local news pages, pro-Brexit campaigners and the far right”. Meanwhile a survey for Hope Not Hate, which monitors extremism, found that 17% of people when questioned said they believed Covid-19 was intentionally released as part of a “depopulation plan” by the UN or “new world order”; a quarter (25%) agreed that secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites” and a similar proportion (26%) subscribed to the QAnon view that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” were secretly engaged in child trafficking and abuse. The anti-lockdown gatherings in British cities, last week targeting the BBC journalist Nicholas Watt, are one meeting point for such theories. And of course this is far from a US-only phenomenon. Guardian research in the UK from the end of last year, before Facebook shut down tens of thousands of accounts, revealed a sharp rise in the use of QAnon terms among “an unlikely coalition of spirituality and wellness groups, vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ networks, pre-existing conspiracy forums, local news pages, pro-Brexit campaigners and the far right”. Meanwhile a survey for Hope Not Hate, which monitors extremism, found that 17% of people when questioned said they believed Covid-19 was intentionally released as part of a “depopulation plan” by the UN or “new world order”; a quarter (25%) agreed that secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites” and a similar proportion (26%) subscribed to the QAnon view that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” were secretly engaged in child trafficking and abuse. The anti-lockdown gatherings in British cities, last week targeting the BBC journalist Nicholas Watt, are one meeting point for such theories. These trends support Rothschild’s suggestion that though QAnon itself has gone silent for six months, and thousands of spreader accounts have been deleted, “you still have a very large group of very malleable people. And it doesn’t take a lot for somebody to step in, start selling those people what they want to hear.”



    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

  • #2
    Conspiracy theories have long been a problem, and are nothing new, or unique, to Q-anon, the right, or Republicans. When Bush was in power, at least one poll showed more than half of Democrats believed in some form of 9/11 trutherism.

    While Trump was president there was the conspiracy theory about the secret server to Russia. The conspiracy theory that Russia changed election counts, etc.

    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/19/...-louise-mensch

    And of course Gond has even Biden repeating the conspiracy theory about how the Capitol Police officer died.

    As for any violence from that. I blame that on the overall atmosphere surrounding the normalization of political violence that happened since Trump won in 2016.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
      Conspiracy theories have long been a problem, and are nothing new, or unique, to Q-anon, the right, or Republicans.
      I am not disputing that and nor I think is the article or the upcoming volume

      What is of concern now is the ease of access to such nonsense and how quickly it can be circulated.

      A few decades ago the interested individual would have had to purchase books [one example being the Von Däniken phenomenon of the late 1960s] or subscribe to some eccentric newspaper/magazine to read about particular conspiracy theories. Today with the internet and social media it is all there, quite literally, at their fingertips.

      The naivety of the benefits that social media would reap was made clear in a particular paragraph of that article that amused me. Here White is discussing Rothschild's book and the issue of information as we receive it today with regard to the quality of that information and its dissemination.

      "I remember at the time of the arrival of social media, 20 years ago, sitting through various presentations from a series of highly paid “internet gurus” who talked in messianic terms about a coming age of “citizen journalism”. Once the “gatekeepers” of the “legacy media” were removed, they argued – all those dogged hacks on local newspapers who have subsequently lost their livelihoods – there would be a wondrous revolution in transparency. This utopian vision could apparently see no potential issues with a mass system of anonymous communication in which there was no accountability for inaccuracy and no barriers to entry. I sat in those presentations thinking: have these people never read a history book?"

      "It ain't necessarily so
      The things that you're liable
      To read in the Bible
      It ain't necessarily so
      ."

      Sportin' Life
      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        The Storm Is Upon Us by Mike Rothschild is published on Tuesday and looks as if it will be a very interesting read.

        The following article from the Observer comments on the dangers of conspiracy theories, the power of social media to spread such theories, and in particular the QAnon phenomenon.

        WARNING: THE FULL ARTICLE IS QUITE LONG


        The article starts off describing [briefly] Alex Jones' interview with the Q Shaman.and how Jones did a complete volte face during that interview suggesting that Jones [in light of the legal case being brought against and the very real risk of financial ruin] has tried to turn the tables/

        As the Q Shaman launched into his justification of the mob violence that had left five people dead, a diatribe involving reference to the supposed QAnon revelations that the Democratic party was a front for a satanic paedophile ring that Trump was destined to expose and destroy, Jones repeatedly interrupted him. When Chansley asked plaintively why he wouldn’t listen (“you’re a hero to me, man”), Jones cut him off: “Because you’re full of crap!” he yelled. “That’s why! Because every goddamned thing out of you people’s mouths doesn’t come true. I knew what you were on day one and I know what you are now and I’m sick of it! I’m sick of all these witches and warlocks… I can’t talk to you any more. Jesus Christ! Lord help me. Aaargh!”

        This apparent volte face, disowning a web of untruths that he himself had enthusiastically propagated, was a surprise even to the most dedicated of Jones-watchers. During the Trump era, Dan Friesen and Jordan Holmes, a pair of standup comedians from Chicago, had performed the invaluable public service of debunking some of Jones’s wilder theories in a conversational podcast, Knowledge Fight. The events of January, however, gave them the sense that Jones “just felt less and less in control of what he was doing”. They had long been reluctant connoisseurs of the Texan’s rants but from that moment in January onwards, they felt they were witnessing a man flailing in the tide of his own untruths.

        One reading of this abrupt change suggested that Jones, who had made millions of dollars selling “potency pills” to his cultish followers, finally understood that the game was up. For the past year or more, he has been losing a series of legal appeals against the right of the Sandy Hook parents to sue him for defamation and end the unpardonable harassment that had seen them hounded by trolls who believed Infowars’ lies (the channel sent “investigators” to Sandy Hook to try to disinter the bodies of their murdered children and posted pictures that purported to show them alive and well; one parent, Leonard Pozner, who has led the case against Jones, has had to go into hiding to protect himself from reprisals). That legal process threatens to ruin Jones financially; later this summer it should see him face a fuller judicial reckoning. Having exhausted all other defences, his last line of argument appears to be that he – and his millions of followers – had known it was simply a joke all along.


        However, the article continues to make some disturbing comments, namely that demographics may have helped in ensuring that the events of January 6th this year were not more catastrophic than they actually were.

        A 2019 study by researchers at Princeton and New York University showed that Facebook users over the age of 65 were as much as seven times more likely to share fake-news stories and that held true with QAnon. Fortunately, Rothschild says: “This wasn’t Weimar Republic era paramilitaries. These were people who were 40, 50, 60. Many travelled a long distance and had a lot of disposable income to spend on tactical gear and flights and hotels. QAnon brought out something in these people who felt like their way of life was being destroyed by the relentless onslaught of progressivism. Donald Trump became their champion standing in the breach against the rising tide of liberalism


        The article also deals with the impact that the pandemic had on incubating these theories noting that:

        The pandemic created the perfect petri dish for such radicalisation – forcing people into isolation and to spending more time online. One of the seductive qualities of QAnon in this respect is that rather than presenting converts with a raft of developed theories, it acted as an invitation for them, in that favourite internet phrase, “to do their own research”. “Autists” became active participants in conspiracy creation, piecing together and sharing and creating clues, like medieval Bible scholars. You only have to look at forums such as “QAnon Casualties” on the Reddit platforms, a de-radicalisation and self-help conversation for cultists and their broken families, to see just how deep a hold the ideas can take on individuals.


        And it ends with a warning that despite some opinions holding that this phenomenon has blown over that it may actually only be the precursor of something even more dangerous. This particular conspiracy has spread around the world;

        And of course this is far from a US-only phenomenon. Guardian research in the UK from the end of last year, before Facebook shut down tens of thousands of accounts, revealed a sharp rise in the use of QAnon terms among “an unlikely coalition of spirituality and wellness groups, vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ networks, pre-existing conspiracy forums, local news pages, pro-Brexit campaigners and the far right”. Meanwhile a survey for Hope Not Hate, which monitors extremism, found that 17% of people when questioned said they believed Covid-19 was intentionally released as part of a “depopulation plan” by the UN or “new world order”; a quarter (25%) agreed that secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites” and a similar proportion (26%) subscribed to the QAnon view that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” were secretly engaged in child trafficking and abuse. The anti-lockdown gatherings in British cities, last week targeting the BBC journalist Nicholas Watt, are one meeting point for such theories. And of course this is far from a US-only phenomenon. Guardian research in the UK from the end of last year, before Facebook shut down tens of thousands of accounts, revealed a sharp rise in the use of QAnon terms among “an unlikely coalition of spirituality and wellness groups, vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ networks, pre-existing conspiracy forums, local news pages, pro-Brexit campaigners and the far right”. Meanwhile a survey for Hope Not Hate, which monitors extremism, found that 17% of people when questioned said they believed Covid-19 was intentionally released as part of a “depopulation plan” by the UN or “new world order”; a quarter (25%) agreed that secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites” and a similar proportion (26%) subscribed to the QAnon view that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” were secretly engaged in child trafficking and abuse. The anti-lockdown gatherings in British cities, last week targeting the BBC journalist Nicholas Watt, are one meeting point for such theories. These trends support Rothschild’s suggestion that though QAnon itself has gone silent for six months, and thousands of spreader accounts have been deleted, “you still have a very large group of very malleable people. And it doesn’t take a lot for somebody to step in, start selling those people what they want to hear.”


        Debating conspiracy theorists always comes down to sources.

        They always want to dismiss legitimate sources and insist we believe crazy ones.

        If I want to show the evidence for global warning I can simply cite the EPA, but the conspiracy theorists will insist all the EPA scientists are conspiring to lie to us.

        Evolution, I can cite any legitimate biology department at any university, but the conspiracy theorist will claim they are all conspiring to lie to us.

        COViD, the CDC…and on and on.

        QAnon is particularly crazy. From what I understand in started as a goof on 4Chan. Who would believe that?

        Conspiracies do exist. The Mafia was a conspiracy that the official sources denied.
        Last edited by Backup; 06-20-2021, 09:07 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Apologies: I have just realised I did not supply the link to the full article.

          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ike-rothschild
          "It ain't necessarily so
          The things that you're liable
          To read in the Bible
          It ain't necessarily so
          ."

          Sportin' Life
          Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Backup View Post

            Debating conspiracy theorists always comes down to sources.

            They always want to dismiss legitimate sources and insist we believe crazy ones.

            If I want to show the evidence for global warning I can simply cite the EPA, but the conspiracy theorists will insist all the EPA scientists are conspiring to lie to us.

            Evolution, I can cite any legitimate biology department at any university, but the conspiracy theorist will claim they are all conspiring to lie to us.

            COViD, the CDC…and on and on.

            QAnon is particularly crazy. From what I understand in started as a goof on 4Chan. Who would believe that?

            Conspiracies do exist. The Mafia was a conspiracy that the official sources denied.
            It certainly has some lunatic ideas.

            These paragraphs from the article for example:

            As Rothschild details, the bulk of Q followers had little history of extremism but they came to see themselves as “patriotic researchers”, uniquely able to distil fragments of truth from the “drops” of fictional coded information. Some proudly described themselves as “autists,” insinuating patterns unavailable to the unenlightened, patterns that allowed them to understand, for example, “that when [CIA chief] James Comey tweeted about the death of his dog Benji in early November 2018, he was really signalling to the world that George HW Bush would be executed two weeks later – because autists know that pictures of dogs sent by prominent deep-state members are actually secret messages announcing an execution”.

            So seductive were the internet rabbit holes into which they descended, a process of radicalisation familiar to cult-watchers, that in some cases families were abandoned and plots were hatched, including bomb threats, kidnap attempts and plans to destroy a coronavirus hospital ship. By 6 January 2021, QAnon devotees had for so long promised that a “storm” of mass arrests and executions would sweep “child molesters” and liberals out of government for ever that some were triggered to carry out that long-promised purge themselves.

            It is also to be noted that conspiracies alleging that the FBI were behind the January 6th riot are still being peddled by some on this board.
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
              The Storm Is Upon Us by Mike Rothschild is published on Tuesday and looks as if it will be a very interesting read.

              The following article from the Observer comments on the dangers of conspiracy theories, the power of social media to spread such theories, and in particular the QAnon phenomenon.

              WARNING: THE FULL ARTICLE IS QUITE LONG


              The article starts off describing [briefly] Alex Jones' interview with the Q Shaman.and how Jones did a complete volte face during that interview suggesting that Jones [in light of the legal case being brought against and the very real risk of financial ruin] has tried to turn the tables/

              As the Q Shaman launched into his justification of the mob violence that had left five people dead, a diatribe involving reference to the supposed QAnon revelations that the Democratic party was a front for a satanic paedophile ring that Trump was destined to expose and destroy, Jones repeatedly interrupted him. When Chansley asked plaintively why he wouldn’t listen (“you’re a hero to me, man”), Jones cut him off: “Because you’re full of crap!” he yelled. “That’s why! Because every goddamned thing out of you people’s mouths doesn’t come true. I knew what you were on day one and I know what you are now and I’m sick of it! I’m sick of all these witches and warlocks… I can’t talk to you any more. Jesus Christ! Lord help me. Aaargh!”

              This apparent volte face, disowning a web of untruths that he himself had enthusiastically propagated, was a surprise even to the most dedicated of Jones-watchers. During the Trump era, Dan Friesen and Jordan Holmes, a pair of standup comedians from Chicago, had performed the invaluable public service of debunking some of Jones’s wilder theories in a conversational podcast, Knowledge Fight. The events of January, however, gave them the sense that Jones “just felt less and less in control of what he was doing”. They had long been reluctant connoisseurs of the Texan’s rants but from that moment in January onwards, they felt they were witnessing a man flailing in the tide of his own untruths.

              One reading of this abrupt change suggested that Jones, who had made millions of dollars selling “potency pills” to his cultish followers, finally understood that the game was up. For the past year or more, he has been losing a series of legal appeals against the right of the Sandy Hook parents to sue him for defamation and end the unpardonable harassment that had seen them hounded by trolls who believed Infowars’ lies (the channel sent “investigators” to Sandy Hook to try to disinter the bodies of their murdered children and posted pictures that purported to show them alive and well; one parent, Leonard Pozner, who has led the case against Jones, has had to go into hiding to protect himself from reprisals). That legal process threatens to ruin Jones financially; later this summer it should see him face a fuller judicial reckoning. Having exhausted all other defences, his last line of argument appears to be that he – and his millions of followers – had known it was simply a joke all along.


              However, the article continues to make some disturbing comments, namely that demographics may have helped in ensuring that the events of January 6th this year were not more catastrophic than they actually were.

              A 2019 study by researchers at Princeton and New York University showed that Facebook users over the age of 65 were as much as seven times more likely to share fake-news stories and that held true with QAnon. Fortunately, Rothschild says: “This wasn’t Weimar Republic era paramilitaries. These were people who were 40, 50, 60. Many travelled a long distance and had a lot of disposable income to spend on tactical gear and flights and hotels. QAnon brought out something in these people who felt like their way of life was being destroyed by the relentless onslaught of progressivism. Donald Trump became their champion standing in the breach against the rising tide of liberalism


              The article also deals with the impact that the pandemic had on incubating these theories noting that:

              The pandemic created the perfect petri dish for such radicalisation – forcing people into isolation and to spending more time online. One of the seductive qualities of QAnon in this respect is that rather than presenting converts with a raft of developed theories, it acted as an invitation for them, in that favourite internet phrase, “to do their own research”. “Autists” became active participants in conspiracy creation, piecing together and sharing and creating clues, like medieval Bible scholars. You only have to look at forums such as “QAnon Casualties” on the Reddit platforms, a de-radicalisation and self-help conversation for cultists and their broken families, to see just how deep a hold the ideas can take on individuals.


              And it ends with a warning that despite some opinions holding that this phenomenon has blown over that it may actually only be the precursor of something even more dangerous. This particular conspiracy has spread around the world;

              And of course this is far from a US-only phenomenon. Guardian research in the UK from the end of last year, before Facebook shut down tens of thousands of accounts, revealed a sharp rise in the use of QAnon terms among “an unlikely coalition of spirituality and wellness groups, vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ networks, pre-existing conspiracy forums, local news pages, pro-Brexit campaigners and the far right”. Meanwhile a survey for Hope Not Hate, which monitors extremism, found that 17% of people when questioned said they believed Covid-19 was intentionally released as part of a “depopulation plan” by the UN or “new world order”; a quarter (25%) agreed that secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites” and a similar proportion (26%) subscribed to the QAnon view that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” were secretly engaged in child trafficking and abuse. The anti-lockdown gatherings in British cities, last week targeting the BBC journalist Nicholas Watt, are one meeting point for such theories. And of course this is far from a US-only phenomenon. Guardian research in the UK from the end of last year, before Facebook shut down tens of thousands of accounts, revealed a sharp rise in the use of QAnon terms among “an unlikely coalition of spirituality and wellness groups, vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ networks, pre-existing conspiracy forums, local news pages, pro-Brexit campaigners and the far right”. Meanwhile a survey for Hope Not Hate, which monitors extremism, found that 17% of people when questioned said they believed Covid-19 was intentionally released as part of a “depopulation plan” by the UN or “new world order”; a quarter (25%) agreed that secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites” and a similar proportion (26%) subscribed to the QAnon view that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” were secretly engaged in child trafficking and abuse. The anti-lockdown gatherings in British cities, last week targeting the BBC journalist Nicholas Watt, are one meeting point for such theories. These trends support Rothschild’s suggestion that though QAnon itself has gone silent for six months, and thousands of spreader accounts have been deleted, “you still have a very large group of very malleable people. And it doesn’t take a lot for somebody to step in, start selling those people what they want to hear.”


              Indeed, conspiracy theories are far from defeated. Heck, the president of the United States just was pushing a BlueAnon conspiracy theory on an international trip to international press just a couple days ago.

              But I don't think that censorship, shutting down accounts, deleting tweets/posts does anything positive. Instead it brings even more attention to them. The sort of 'well, why are they so eager to delete it - what are they trying to hide' instinct comes out in many folks. To be honest, if it wasn't for the media hyping up QAnon, or the social media platforms doing mass purges, it would not be nearly the level of interest/following it is now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Backup View Post

                QAnon is particularly crazy. From what I understand in started as a goof on 4Chan. Who would believe that?
                That's what you'd think, right? But a goof on 4Chan led to a campaign of goofery that ultimately convinced liberals and the MSM a year or so ago that the "OK" hand sign was a secret white supremacist hand signal and that anyone that uses it is a white supremacist (many still think that to this day). 4Chan and the folks there seem particularly good at reading the grain of society and using it against society.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post

                  Indeed, conspiracy theories are far from defeated. Heck, the president of the United States just was pushing a BlueAnon conspiracy theory on an international trip to international press just a couple days ago.

                  But I don't think that censorship, shutting down accounts, deleting tweets/posts does anything positive. Instead it brings even more attention to them. The sort of 'well, why are they so eager to delete it - what are they trying to hide' instinct comes out in many folks. To be honest, if it wasn't for the media hyping up QAnon, or the social media platforms doing mass purges, it would not be nearly the level of interest/following it is now.
                  I wonder if this is a chicken and egg situation. Has an increasingly dumbed down MSM resulted in the nonsense that is being proliferated on social media? Or did the existence of social media lead to the increased dumbing down of the MSM?
                  "It ain't necessarily so
                  The things that you're liable
                  To read in the Bible
                  It ain't necessarily so
                  ."

                  Sportin' Life
                  Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post

                    That's what you'd think, right? But a goof on 4Chan led to a campaign of goofery that ultimately convinced liberals and the MSM a year or so ago that the "OK" hand sign was a secret white supremacist hand signal and that anyone that uses it is a white supremacist (many still think that to this day). 4Chan and the folks there seem particularly good at reading the grain of society and using it against society.
                    lol

                    as someone that claims to be a Libertarian, you might want to hold back from painting an entire political group with the actions of its lunatic fringe

                    I mean, you guys have Vermin Supreme representing you

                    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020...e-in-2020.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                      I wonder if this is a chicken and egg situation. Has an increasingly dumbed down MSM resulted in the nonsense that is being proliferated on social media? Or did the existence of social media lead to the increased dumbing down of the MSM?
                      Many had doubts about the honesty of the MSM long ago, but the witch hunting tactics engaged in during the past five years provided concrete evidence that the doubts weren't mere figments of the imagination. Social media picked up on some of them and trumpeted it loud and clear. (you could always tell when it happened: the MSM would go into a frenzy about "fake news" being promoted on Social Media.) MSM thoroughly discredited itself, which gave Social Media more credibility than it deserved - occasional flashes of real news aside, it is no better than the MSM.
                      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                        Many had doubts about the honesty of the MSM long ago, but the witch hunting tactics engaged in during the past five years provided concrete evidence that the doubts weren't mere figments of the imagination. Social media picked up on some of them and trumpeted it loud and clear. (you could always tell when it happened: the MSM would go into a frenzy about "fake news" being promoted on Social Media.) MSM thoroughly discredited itself, which gave Social Media more credibility than it deserved - occasional flashes of real news aside, it is no better than the MSM.
                        So what’s the alternative?

                        I’ve noticed that most people that dismiss mainstream media get their information from conspiracy blogs and right-wing propaganda outlets, that are way worse than traditional news sources.

                        The fact is, the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, ABC, PBS, the Wall Street Journal, etc. are pretty good. Obviously they will make mistakes because of the limited nature of journalism.

                        Here’s a fair resource:

                        https://towardsdatascience.com/how-s...s-f28f0fab3cb3
                        Last edited by Backup; 06-20-2021, 02:45 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is what pushing conspiracy theories leads to:


                          Yep, Democrats are using conspiracy theories to push a "snitch on your friends and family" program that is the hallmark of totalitarian regimes throughout history.
                          Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                          But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                          Than a fool in the eyes of God


                          From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                            This is what pushing conspiracy theories leads to:


                            Yep, Democrats are using conspiracy theories to push a "snitch on your friends and family" program that is the hallmark of totalitarian regimes throughout history.
                            What conspiracy theory?

                            You don’t believe in radical terrorists? Do you think they should be left to their own devices?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Backup View Post

                              What conspiracy theory?

                              You don’t believe in radical terrorists? Do you think they should be left to their own devices?
                              The Democrat definition of "radical terrorist" is suspect.

                              Although I approve of the suggestion I read to use whatever reporting system is set up to flag every Black Lives Matter and Antifa organization in the country.
                              Last edited by Mountain Man; 06-20-2021, 05:12 PM.
                              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                              Than a fool in the eyes of God


                              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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