MIT Technology Review: Evangelicals are looking for answers online. They’re finding QAnon instead.

MIT Technology Review: Evangelicals are looking for answers online. They’re finding QAnon instead.. “The tenets of QAnon are specific: that Trump is the chosen one to finally destroy a ring of Satanic pedophiles long protected by access to elite positions of authority, and that Q will provide the clues to lead followers to the truth. But the movement has mingled with so many other conspiracist causes and ideologies that it is now possible to be a carrier of QAnon content online without actually knowing what you are spreading.”

New York Times: Facebook Tried to Limit QAnon. It Failed.

New York Times: Facebook Tried to Limit QAnon. It Failed.. “The QAnon movement has proved extremely adept at evading detection on Facebook under the platform’s new restrictions. Some groups have simply changed their names or avoided key terms that would set off alarm bells. The changes were subtle, like changing ‘Q’ to ‘Cue’ or to a name including the number 17, reflecting that Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet. Militia groups have changed their names to phrases from the Bible, or to claims of being ‘God’s Army.'”

BuzzFeed News: Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare”

BuzzFeed News: Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare”. “At its core, the QAnon collective delusion is a belief system that began in the innards of the social web before being vomited into the mainstream. Believers sign up for a slew of untruths. Most support Trump, oppose the ‘deep state,’ deny vaccination science, say many instances of gun violence were faked, and set off on quixotic crusades for supposedly trafficked children that hinder the real fight against the issue. Much of their wrath is centered on purported elites who either faked the coronavirus pandemic or spread the virus through 5G technology, a scientific impossibility. Satanism and drinking the blood of children are common points of discussion. Paranoia surrounding Black Lives Matter protests and anti-fascist activists is widespread.”

USA Today: Debunked QAnon conspiracy theories are seeping into mainstream social media. Don’t be fooled.

USA Today: Debunked QAnon conspiracy theories are seeping into mainstream social media. Don’t be fooled.. “While many QAnon theories and content remain on fringe platforms like far-right message board 8kun, some have made their way into mainstream social media services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. On those platforms, the bogus or misleading material is gaining traction among people who have no idea they’re dabbling in QAnon.”

Gizmodo: Researchers Made A QAnon AI Bot Because Things Aren’t Already Bad Enough, Apparently

Gizmodo: Researchers Made A QAnon AI Bot Because Things Aren’t Already Bad Enough, Apparently. “So you may have heard about GPT-3, the new language-based AI technology that you can train to produce human-like text. Since it was launched, people have been trying to test the limits of this exciting, powerful tool. And their latest experiment? Teaching it to believe the ridiculous and dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory, of course.”

Reclaim the Net: Popular QAnon site QMap shut down after fact-checker publishes alleged owner’s details and registered address

Reclaim the Net: Popular QAnon site QMap shut down after fact-checker publishes alleged owner’s details and registered address . “QMap, reported to be one of the most popular QAnon websites, has shut down after online fact-checker Logically published the alleged owner’s name, business PO box address, current employer, employment history, email addresses, photo, approximate age, the town where he lives, and details of his last remaining social media profile.”

CNN: QAnon fans spread fake claims about real fires in Oregon

CNN: QAnon fans spread fake claims about real fires in Oregon. “Authorities in Oregon are pleading with the public to only trust and share information verified by official sources about the unprecedented wildfires sweeping the state. The pleas come as law enforcement agencies described 911 dispatchers being overrun with calls about a false online rumor that ‘Antifa’ members had been arrested for setting the fires — a claim promoted by the anonymous account behind the QAnon conspiracy theories.”

International Business Times: Man Who Believed Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga Are Satan-Worshipping Baby-Eaters Becomes Anti-Conspiracy Theory Activist

International Business Times: Man Who Believed Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga Are Satan-Worshipping Baby-Eaters Becomes Anti-Conspiracy Theory Activist. “The popularity of conspiracy theories seems to be at an all-time high in the United States of America (USA). The hard-to-believe popularity of QAnon conspiracy theory is a startling example of how willing people are to accept the most outlandish beliefs regarding the government and people they don’t like. But there is one heartwarming story of a man who was also submerged in the psychedelic world of conspiracy theories but has now turned a corner to not just breathe in the real world but also help those who are in his earlier position. Stephen Ross is launching a website called DebunkQanon.com which will be dedicated to revealing the hollow nature of this theory.”

Rantt Media: As QAnon Spreads, Social Media Companies Finally Step Up

Rantt Media: As QAnon Spreads, Social Media Companies Finally Step Up. “…Twitter announced the launch of a new campaign, in partnership with the United Nations’ UNESCO, the European Commission, and the World Jewish Congress, to combat conspiracy theories and disinformation. The groundbreaking global campaign, anchored by the hashtag #ThinkBeforeSharing, offers a suite of educational tools and infographics to fight conspiracy theories. While the campaign is largely focused on combating disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, it also includes modules that address anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories more broadly.”

NBC News: How QAnon rode the pandemic to new heights — and fueled the viral anti-mask phenomenon

NBC News: How QAnon rode the pandemic to new heights — and fueled the viral anti-mask phenomenon. “While QAnon bubbled on the fringes of the internet for years, researchers and experts say it has emerged in recent months as a sort of centralized hub for conspiracy and alternative health communities. According to an internal document reported by NBC News this week, Facebook now has more than 1,000 of these QAnon groups, totaling millions of members.”

New York Times: Toxic Trade-Offs at Facebook

New York Times: Toxic Trade-Offs at Facebook. “Beginning in 2017, Facebook started a revamp to emphasize personal posts and interactions and to steer us away from aimlessly scrolling past news articles and puppy videos in the news feed. Among the changes was pushing people to Facebook Groups, or online forums of like-minded people. For many people, groups can be a wonderful resource and social outlet. But they also have become places for people to wallow in fake health treatments, plot violence or spread false theories like QAnon.”

Daily Dot: On Patreon, QAnon believers are turning conspiracy into cash

Daily Dot: On Patreon, QAnon believers are turning conspiracy into cash. “QAnon followers have found a home on Patreon, one that is more hospitable and profitable than other social media platforms. Patreon is a fundraising platform where donors, or patrons, sign up to give a specific amount every month to access exclusive content. While Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube work to limit the spread, Patreon essentially accepts the conspiracy theorists with open arms. There some are making thousands of dollars every month.”

MIT Technology Review: It’s too late to stop QAnon with fact checks and account bans

MIT Technology Review: It’s too late to stop QAnon with fact checks and account bans. “Researchers have known for years that different platforms play different roles in coordinated campaigns. People will coordinate in a chat app, message board, or private Facebook group, target their messages (including harassment and abuse) on Twitter, and host videos about the entire thing on YouTube. In this information ecosystem, Twitter functions more like a marketing campaign for QAnon: content is created to be seen and interacted with by outsiders. Meanwhile, Facebook is a powerhouse for coordination, especially in closed groups.”

CNN: A baseless US conspiracy theory found a foothold in Europe. New research shows how

CNN: A baseless US conspiracy theory found a foothold in Europe. New research shows how. “A baseless claim about a child sex-trafficking ring, a Washington, DC pizzeria, and Hillary Clinton has been passed around among conspiracy theorists for more than three years. No evidence has emerged to support any part of the story. But last month, British pop star Robbie Williams used his voice to argue that the claims deserved more attention.”

Rolling Stone: TikTok Bans QAnon Hashtags

Rolling Stone: TikTok Bans QAnon Hashtags. “A TikTok spokesperson told Rolling Stone such content contained disinformation, which is prohibited in the platform’s community guidelines, and confirmed that it was working to make QAnon-related content more difficult to find in its search function. TikTok will also be working to remove conspiracy theory-related videos and accounts, though some hashtags were still searchable on the platform as of this writing.”