Mashable: QAnon believers go undercover to spread conspiracies online…and it’s working

Mashable: QAnon believers go undercover to spread conspiracies online…and it’s working. “The reason you may not be seeing so much QAnon online isn’t because they’re not there. It’s because they’ve gone undercover. QAnon content is still spreading on mainstream social media platforms thanks to a number of tactics its believers are using to get around the bans.”

CNET: QAnon channels are deleting their own YouTube videos to evade punishment

CNET: QAnon channels are deleting their own YouTube videos to evade punishment. “Disappearing videos are usually the realm of Snapchat or Instagram Stories, which self-destruct by design after 24 hours. The vanishing QAnon video is something different, a tactic used by peddlers of disinformation that’s designed to help extremist channels evade YouTube’s policies and escape violations that would get them shut down.”

Report: China, Russia fueling QAnon conspiracy theories (Yahoo News)

Yahoo News: Report: China, Russia fueling QAnon conspiracy theories. “Foreign-based actors, principally in China and Russia, are spreading online disinformation rooted in QAnon conspiracy theories, fueling a movement that has become a mounting domestic terrorism threat, according to new analysis of online propaganda by a security firm. The analysis by the Soufan Center, a New York-based research firm focused on national security threats, found that nearly one-fifth of 166,820 QAnon-related Facebook posts between January 2020 and the end of February 2021 originated from overseas administrators.”

PsyPost: Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories linked to increases in anxiety, according to new research

PsyPost: Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories linked to increases in anxiety, according to new research. “A new study published in Personality and Individual Differences provides evidence that conspiracy theories about COVID-19 can have a negative personal impact on individuals who adhere to such beliefs. The research indicates that COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs predict heightened levels of mental distress.”

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus. “Conspiracy theorist David Icke’s lies about COVID-19 caused Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify to ban him. But on Amazon, Icke, who believes in the existence of lizard people, is recommended reading. Despite being filled with misinformation about the pandemic, Icke’s book The Answer at one point ranked 30th on Amazon.com’s bestseller list for Communication & Media Studies. Its popularity is partly thanks to the e-commerce giant’s powerful recommendation algorithms that suggest The Answer and other COVID conspiracy theory books to people searching for basic information about the coronavirus, according to new research shared exclusively with BuzzFeed News.”

Idaho Statesman: Idaho man thought ‘the virus would disappear the day after the election.’ He was wrong

Idaho Statesman: Idaho man thought ‘the virus would disappear the day after the election.’ He was wrong. “[Paul] Russell once thought the coronavirus wasn’t a real threat. He didn’t believe in masks. All that has changed. ‘Before I came down with the virus, I was one of those jackasses who thought the virus would disappear the day after the election. I was one of those conspiracy theorists,’ he said. Instead, he was in the hospital with COVID-19 a week after the election.”

‘More Dangerous And More Widespread’: Conspiracy Theories Spread Faster Than Ever (NPR)

NPR: ‘More Dangerous And More Widespread’: Conspiracy Theories Spread Faster Than Ever. “An NPR/Ipsos poll in December found that a significant number of Americans believe disinformation about the coronavirus and about settled historical facts….That poll found that nearly one in 10 respondents don’t believe humans actually landed on the moon. Even higher numbers were under the misapprehension that mass shootings in recent years were staged hoaxes or that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. On top of that, another 20% of respondents say they didn’t know what’s true in each case.”

Phys .org: Blind trust in social media cements conspiracy beliefs

Phys .org: Blind trust in social media cements conspiracy beliefs. “Researchers found that people with a strong trust in information found on social media sites were more likely to believe conspiracies, which falsely explain significant events as part of a secret evil plot, even if they could identify other types of misinformation. The study, published in the journal Public Understanding of Science on March 5, showed this held true for beliefs in older conspiracy theories as well as newer ones around COVID-19.

Clubhouse Conspiracy: How The Popular App Became A Haven For Anti-Vaxxers (Refinery 29)

Refinery 29: Clubhouse Conspiracy: How The Popular App Became A Haven For Anti-Vaxxers. “Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, a board-certified internal medicine physician, founded a club on the app called All Things Covid last month. Since then, it has grown to almost 25,000 members due in part to weekly Q&A with expert clinicians and scientists answering any and all questions about coronavirus. In these discussions, Ungerleider said that she and fellow physicians occasionally encounter audience members who are anti-vaccine.”

PsyPost: Populism and conservative media linked to COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs among both Republicans and Democrats

PsyPost: Populism and conservative media linked to COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs among both Republicans and Democrats. “A new study in the journal Research & Politics provides evidence that populist attitudes are correlated with conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19 in the United States. The findings indicate that populism — which pits ‘the people’ against ‘the elites’ — plays an even greater role than political partisanship.”

Vanity Fair: COVID Anti-Vaxxers Are Taking Their Wild Conspiracies Into the Real World

Vanity Fair: COVID Anti-Vaxxers Are Taking Their Wild Conspiracies Into the Real World. “With COVID-19 vaccines finally being administered to the general public, the end of America’s hellish pandemic year is finally in sight. But the country’s anti-vaccine hordes are saying not so fast, claiming that the lifesaving injections are actually part of a scheme hatched by Bill Gates and Satan himself.”