Tag "conspiracy theories"

Four experts investigate how the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory began

By Wasim Ahmed, Joseph Downing, Marc Tuters, Peter Knight, for The Conversation In times of crisis conspiracy theories can spread as fast as a virus. As the coronavirus pandemic tightened its grip on a world which struggled to comprehend the enormity of the situation it was facing, darker forces were concocting their own narratives. Scientists and researchers were working – and continue to work – around the clock for answers.

Figure of the week: 23.2%

By EU vs Disinfo Almost one-fourth of Russians (23.2%) consider the COVID-19 pandemic a fiction, concocted by the “interested parties”, Russian media reports. An additional 9% of Russians think that the danger of the pandemic is exaggerated. These are the findings of an online nationwide survey conducted by the Directorate for the Expert Analysis of the Higher School of Economics – one of the Russia’s leading universities. The survey was conducted

Propaganda backfire: the Kremlin’s conspiracy theories undermine its own authority

By Kseniya Kirillova, for Byline By supporting theories aimed at destabilising the US during the Coronavirus pandemic, Kseniya Kirillova reports on how Putin has opened up a Pandora’s Box at home. According to a survey conducted by the Higher School of Economics at the end of May, a third of Russians (32.8%) believe that the danger of the Coronavirus pandemic is exaggerated or consider it to be an invention of “interested parties”.

Chinese disinfo hits U.S. biolab with new COVID-19 conspiracy

By Polygraph Global Times“Days before the institution’s (Fort Detrick laboratory) temporary shutdown in 2019, a respiratory illness was reported on June 30 at a community one hour’s drive away. The Greenspring Retirement Community in Fairfax County, Virginia, had had 63 infected cases of the disease and three deaths by July 15, said local health authorities.”Source: Global Times, May 29, 2020MISLEADING On May 29, the website of Global Times, the Chinese

Russia’s EU rep rewrites Cold War history with bogus conspiracy theories

By Polygraph Vladimir ChizhovRussia’s Permanent Representative to the EU“… American Plan Totality developed on the personal order of Harry Truman after the atomic bombings of Japanese Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, to carry out nuclear attacks against 17 major Soviet cities and industrial centres. They were followed by CIA chief Allen Dulles’ Plan aimed at destroying the USSR by means of propaganda, sowing mistrust among nationalities and social groups,

“Not funny at all”

By EU vs Disinfo Bill Gates-bashing is back in the COVID-19 narrative on Russian state-controlled TV, paired with anti-vaccine messaging. One would have hoped that the recent scandal following Russian celebrity film director Nikita Mikhalkov’s attack on Bill Gates had successfully sidelined conspiracy theories about COVID-19 from Russia’s dominating TV channels. However, Bill Gates popped up again on 13 May; this time, in a talkshow on state-controlled Channel One Russia (Pervy Kanal). Here, a

Nigerian pastor spreads COVID-19 conspiracies and disinformation

By Nwachukwu Egbunike, for Global Voices Check out Global Voices’ special coverage of the global impact of COVID-19. When it comes to spurious information and the coronavirus, it has been an open season with some Nigerian evangelical pastors. As purveyors of disinformation, several pastors have pushed back against government lockdowns that would impact church closures.  As of May 13, Nigeria has 4,971 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 164 deaths and 1,070  recoveries.  Conspiracy

The Atlantic’s executive editor talks conspiracy theories, journalistic norms, and new products for all those new subscribers

By Sarah Scire, for NiemanLab “I had people believing outlandish, harmful things who were repeating back to me the values that I, as a journalist, have. Your mind melts.” When The Atlantic added 36,000 new subscribers in one month in March, editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg attributed the surge to the publication’s deeply reported “big-swing” coronavirus coverage. The challenge for the magazine, which relaunched its paywall last fall, is trying to transition that pandemic-fueled attention. It’s

Australia Parliament debunks 5G COVID-19 conspiracy theory

By Phil Mercer, for VoA An Australian parliamentary report has debunked a conspiracy theory linking COVID-19 to 5G technology. Anti-lockdown protesters in Australia and beyond have claimed a connection between the new coronavirus and the rollout of the mobile communications standard. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disparate groups of conspiracy theorists together. Some believe the disease was deliberately spread around the world to force vaccines on to the population as

Capitalizing on the coronavirus conspiracist frenzy

By EU vs Disinfo As the COVID-19 crisis continues to monopolise public life around the world, conspiracy theories about the virus continue to gather steam – and pro-Kremlin media are eager to jump on the bandwagon. Few developments in recent history have so suddenly and ruthlessly laid bare the vulnerabilities and fragility of contemporary life as the COVID-19 outbreak. Within just a few short months, the virus has profoundly transformed

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